Table 3. Comparison of newer (Wimmera region: n = 43–68; Corangamite region: n = 89–90) and longer term (Wimmera region: n = 176–388; Corangamite region: n = 358–363) landholders: values attached to property, assessment of issues, and value orientation. (n denotes the number of respondents. Each item had a different number of respondents owing to missing values; these are indicated by the ranges in n.)

Wimmera natural resource management region Corangamite natural resource management region
Topic New Longer term P value New Longer term P value
Values
My property contributes to the environmental health of the district 4.06 3.76 0.022 3.5 3.37 0.220
Sense of accomplishment from building/maintaining a viable business 3.95 4.12 0.352 3.59 3.92 0.016
A place for recreation 3.77 3.23 0.001 3.65 3.13 < 0.001
Native vegetation on my property provides habitat for native animals 3.69 3.32 0.013 3.46 3.09 0.023
Sense of accomplishment from producing food/fiber for others 3.37 3.7 0.136 3.07 3.55 < 0.001
Provides most of the household income 3.10 4.21 < 0.001 2.65 3.78 < 0.001
Assessment of issues
Getting the balance right between water for the environment, agriculture, and recreation 4.39 4.05 0.013 Not asked - -
Impact of reduced water flows on the long-term health of rivers/streams/wetlands 4.30 3.89 0.009 Not asked - -
Dryland salinity threatening water quality 4.05 3.35 < 0.001 3.05 2.68 0.042
Decline in soil health (e.g., declining fertility or structure) 4.05 3.37 < 0.001 3.11 2.75 0.024
The effect of increased ground and surface water extraction 4.05 3.49 < 0.001 Not asked - -
Farming practices contributing to erosion 3.78 2.98 < 0.001 Not asked - -
Nutrient and chemical runoff affecting water quality in rivers/streams/wetlands 3.74 2.99 < 0.001 3.20 2.81 0.022
Dryland salinity threatening the long-term productive capacity of land 3.50 3.03 0.008 3.07 2.58 0.006
Loss of habitat for birds and animals due to the loss of paddock trees 3.60 2.95 < 0.001 Not asked - -
Uncertain, low returns limiting capacity to invest on property 3.28 3.72 0.022 Not asked - -
Planting out large areas of the Wimmera farmland to native bush is justified 3.26 2.59 < 0.001 Not asked - -
Loss of habitat due to clearing of native vegetation in our local district Not asked - - 3.11 2.43 < 0.001
Stewardship and duty of care
Reduced production in the short-term is justified where there are long-term benefits to the environment (stewardship value) 4.71 4.23 < 0.001 3.64 3.32 0.006
It is fair that the wider community asks landholders to manage their land in ways that do not cause foreseeable harm to the environment (duty of care) 4.97 4.33 < 0.001 3.76 3.29 < 0.001
In future, landholders should expect to be legally responsible for managing their land in ways that do not cause foreseeable harm to the environment (duty of care) 4.46 3.84 < 0.001 Not asked - -