© 2015 Elsevier B.V. Land-use optimisation models have been extensively applied to inform policy development in diverse environments. A strong need for flexibility encourages the development of bespoke applications, with little value associated with the broad implementation of rigid-modelling structures. Recognising this need, the goal of this paper is to provide an accessible introduction to a flexible framework to assess how land management could be expected to change under alternative environmental limits and policies. The utility of the model has been demonstrated in extensive application throughout Australasia. Notable benefits of the framework are that it is straightforward to code and calibrate, its modular design allows the independent development of components, it may be applied in a participatory-modelling context, and its level of complexity can be altered, depending on the available resources. Ten ways that the basic model can be extended are described, while a sample application is discussed, for which optimisation code is provided.