In this edition, new District Vets for the Western region, wet weather unleashes mosquitoes, worms and flies, an Australian first bioherbicide trial to tackle mesquite and an update on field days, workshops and events ...

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October - Novemer 2016

In this issue:
Two District Vets now on deck  
Equipment for hire
Wet spring unleashes mosquitoes, flies and worms
Spring baiting success
NLIS tag update
Quad bike safety rebates
Western Wrap
Spectacular season for Plant ID walking workshops
Malleefowl monitoring at Mount Hope
Australian first mesquite bioherbicide trial
Wettest September on record
Wet conditions increase risk of bloat and pulpy kidney
Western Landcare Forum - August 2017
Events and training opportunities
Tactical Grazing Management workshop - Homebush
Land and Water Management workshops
Mallefowl information sessions
1080, Canid Pest Ejector and wild dog workshops
Farming Together Iniative
New strain of Rabbit Haemorrhagic Virus
Get in touch with us

Local Land Services Western now has two District Vets on deck 

Charlotte Cavanagh and Sophie Hemley
 Dr Charlotte Cavanagh and Dr Sophie Hemley make up the new Local Land Services District Veterinarian team working with livestock producers in Western NSW. 

Livestock producers in Western NSW now have two locally based District Veterinarians to call on to assist with production animal enquiries.

Dr Sophie Hemley has been appointed to the Local Land Services Western Region office in Broken Hill, while Dr Charlotte Cavanagh, formerly with the NSW Department of Primary Industries, has just become part of the Local Land Services veterinary team.

The role of the District Veterinarian is to work with Local Land Services Biosecurity Officers to investigate animal health and production issues at a flock and herd level.

Landholders in the western region are encouraged to give Sophie Hemley or Charlotte Cavanagh a call if they have livestock related questions. 

Dr Charlotte Cavanagh - 0429 773 021

Dr Sophie Hemley -  0417 248 135


Equipment for hire

Local Land Services – Western has a wide range of equipment available for free hire by landholders including hog hoppers, pig traps, trap gates and fences.

The equipment is loaned free of charge but must be returned in the same condition it was in when given out.

To find out what equipment is available for hire in your local area, and to make a booking, please contact your Local Land Services office in Balranald, Bourke, Brewarrina, Broken Hill, Buronga, Cobar, Dubbo, Hillston, Tibooburra, Wentworth, or Wilcannia.


Wet spring unleashes mosquitoes, flies and worms
on vulnerable stock

A wet spring has unleashed a swarm of mosquitoes and flies and an influx of worms in Western NSW putting livestock at risk of diseases and health problems not usually seen in drier seasons, including three-day sickness, fly strike, and internal parasites.

Three Day Sickness is of particular concern, given the increase in mosquito numbers following recent rain. “Mosquitoes are a major vector (source) of bovine ephemeral fever virus, commonly referred to as Three Day Sickness,” warned Dr Charlotte Cavanagh, District Veterinary Officer with Local Land Services Western Region.

Infected animals show flu-like symptoms of fever, drooling, watery eyes, stiffness, and lameness. Bulls and heavy cows tend to be most severely affected.

“Recovery time will be improved if cattle are treated with anti-inflammatory drugs to decrease the fever, while calcium injections will also assist in getting affected animals up on their feet more quickly,” said Dr Cavanagh.

Three Day Sickness can be prevented through veterinary-prescribed vaccination and by reducing fly and insect numbers
Insect repellent ear tags can be purchased from rural retailers and provide relief to stock from constant insect attack.

Livestock producers are encouraged to call their Local Land Services District Vets if they have concerns or queries about livestock health.  

Dr Charlotte Cavanagh, District Veterinary Officer (Bourke office) – 0429 773 021
Dr Sophie Hemley, District Veterinary Officer (Broken Hill office) – 0417 248 135

Spring baiting success despite wet weather disruptions

Extensive wet weather caused plenty of disruptions but Local Land Services Western managed to successfully complete the 2016 spring wild dog baiting campaign.

Aerial bait drops were due to start at Wanaaring in mid September in conjunction with on ground baiting by landholders, however persistent rain resulted in frequent delays and recalibration of plans due to road closures and wet air strips

“It was a credit to the flexibility of the team that they were able to accommodate a range of weather events in this welcome but extraordinary season,” reported Andrew Hull, Local Community Manager with Local Land Services Western Region.

Local Land Services Biosecurity Officer, Robynne Wells Budd, discusses bait numbers and flight plans with pilot, Allan McDonald, at the Cobar airport.


NLIS tag sales update

Local Land Services Western Region offices are no longer supplying National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) devices other than in emergency cases.

Local Land Services will continue support of the NLIS through the management of Property Identification Codes (PICs) and through the emergency supply of devices to stockowners in extreme circumstances, however there are now a wide range of alternative suppliers of NLIS devices, including produce stores, rural co-operatives, and online retailers.

For more information about where to purchase NLIS tags and devices contact your local produce store or rural co-operative, or contact the NLIS hotline on 1800 654 743. 

Detailed information is also available on the NLIS website at:



The $2 million quad bike safety rebate program is offering financial incentives to assist farmers and farm workers.

Local Land Services and SafeWork NSW are working together  to encourage safer use of quad bikes on farm.

Click here to find out more about the rebate package

Western wrap 

Spectacular season for Plant ID Walking Workshops

Some of the best seasonal conditions in the last forty years were the backdrop for a series of Native Plant Identification and Management Workshops held this spring across the Western Division.
Martin Driver from the Australian Network for Plant Conservation conducted the walking workshops which were organised by Local Land Services Western Region in collaboration with Western Landcare and support from the NSW Environmental Trust.
A tour of the Riddiford Arboretum at Broken Hill was the first event in a series
of native plant identification workshops hosted by Local Land Services Western.

The final Western Walkabout workshop will now take place on Thursday 1 December at the Australian Bush Heritage property, Naree.  Contact Alice Jarrett on 0431 520 799 to get involved.
For more information about future on-property workshops contact Jasmine Wells at Local Land Services Broken Hill office on 0417 488 496 or Martha Gouniai at Western Landcare on 0449 956 819. 

Mallee Fowl Monitoring at Mount Hope

The National Mallee fowl Recovery Team held a training event for landholders and community members Mallee fowl monitoring at Mount Hope. The event was funded by Local Land Services Western Region.

The trainees learnt how to monitor and record Mallee fowl mounds using a specially designed app on mobile devices. The data collected through the app is then recorded onto the National Mallee fowl Monitoring Database.

The information on the database is used to analyse mound changes over the years and to follow trends in Mallee fowl populations. This information could help us find out how to best protect and enhance the survival of the species.

More mallee fowl information sessions are coming up at Buronga - Monday 12 December, and – Wednesday 14 December, with the aim of establishing a Southern NSW mallee fowl recovery group.
Register and RSVP by 7 December to Ronni O’Donnell at the Buronga office on phone: 03 5021 9429,  mobile: 0409 334 956  email:

Australian first mesquite bioherbicide trial 

In an Australian first an innovative trial has begun at Broken Hill testing the use of fungal isolates as potential bioherbicides, to treat mesquite, one of the western regions most aggressive weeds.

Local Land Services Western Region has partnered with the University of Queensland to undertake the trial at a site north of Broken Hill where mesquite plants have been inoculated with a range of fungal isolates.

“While biological agents have been trialled in the past, there has been only minimal success, particularly with mesquite in western NSW,” said Senior Land Services Officer, Mitch Plumbe.

“A bioherbicide such as this gives the possibility of a control method that not only kills treated plants, but spreads within the broader thicket and suppresses seedling establishment.”

For more information about the Mesquite Bioherbicide Trial, contact Mitch Plumbe on: 08 8082 5204 or email:

Wettest September on record

The May to September 2016 period was the wettest on record for south-eastern Australia, with September being the wettest on record across NSW.

The negative Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) event is continuing, but has weakened. A number of Pacific Ocean indicators are now at La Niña levels, but most climate models suggest ENSO-neutral conditions are likely during spring.

The October edition of the NSW Seasonal Conditions Summary is now available on the NSW DPI website.

The latest NSW Climate Summary is also online.

Wet conditions increase risk of bloat and pulpy kidney 

Graziers in Western NSW are advised to be alert to the increased risk of diseases such as pulpy kidney and bloat following unusually wet conditions in recent months.

Livestock grazing lush rapidly growing pastures and cereal crops are most at risk of pulpy kidney (enterotoxaemia).

“Sheep, cattle, and goats can all be affected. If the pasture causes a sudden change in gut bacteria, the epsilon toxin can get into the blood. Typically, sudden death is the only symptom that will be observed,” said Dr Sophie Hemley, Local Land Services Western Region District Vet.

“When given correctly, vaccination against clostridial disease, with 5-in-1, 6-in-1, 7-in-1 or 8-in1 vaccines will stop the toxin affecting animals. Also, if possible, increase dietary fibre content by providing free access to hay bales.”
Graziers are also warned about the risk of bloat and the need for quick action to treat stock.

Practical preventative measures for bloat include: 
  • Restricting pasture intake – strip grazing or limiting the time on pastures with a high legume content  
  • Increasing dietary fibre content by providing hay  
  • Providing anti-bloat blocks and/or dry loose licks – available at farm produce outlets 
  • Hand feeding rumen modifiers such as monensin to reduce methane production – available through veterinarians  
Livestock producers are encouraged to call their Local Land Services District Vet to discuss queries and concerns about livestock health in Western NSW:
Dr Sophie Hemley, District Veterinary Officer (Broken Hill office) – 0417 248 135

Dr Charlotte Cavanagh, District Veterinary Officer (Bourke office) – 0429 773 021



SAVE THE DATE:   4- 5 August 2017

Western Landcare Forum - Broken Hill

Healthy Landscapes - Healthy Food

The Western Landcare Forum is held every two years and brings together land managers and groups from all over Western NSW to share success stories about sustainable agriculture and learn of new opportunities and innovations.
We are excited to announce that the 2017 forum will explore the relationship between healthy landscapes and healthy food and celebrate the diverse range of produce from our unique region.
The 2017 forum will provide an opportunity to showcase regional produce through cooking demonstrations and trade stands
More importantly the forum will highlight the unique connection between environmental and production outcomes in our region, and explore opportunities for our dedicated land managers to take advantage of current trends involving food provenance and sustainability, and put the produce of Western NSW on the map.

For more information or to get involved please speak to your local Landcare Coordinator or contact Fiona Harris on Tel: 02 6872 2144 Mob: 0467 731 824


Events and training opportunities


Tactical Grazing Management workshop - Homebush

Local Land Services Western Region in partnership with the Department of Primary Industries is hosting a two day Tactical Grazing Management workshop at Homebush, north of Balranald:
Wednesday 23 - Thursday 24  November 

The two day workshop will cover key grazing management principles including pasture and livestock production and planning for changing seasonal conditions.
The workshop will start at the Homebush Hotel, 27 km north of Balranald, and will also include practical sessions in the paddock on Geraki and Narwie Stations.
Travel assistance may be available for landholders wishing to attend from outside the area.
Register by 11 November to:

Rob Dini - 0447 331 865  

Kade Small - 0447 325 418  

Please note that places are limited

Land and Water Management workshops

Land managers are invited to one day Land and Water Management Workshops on surveying for farm water supply and erosion control, and advice on the riparian incentive program for water infrastructure planning:
Monday 5 Dec - Pooncarie Hotel:  9 am - 2 pm
Tuesday 6 Dec - Ivanhoe Rural Fire Office:  8.30 am - 4 pm
Thursday 8 Dec - Cobar Bowling Club:  8.30 am -  4 pm
Lunch will be provided
RSVP by Friday 25th November to:
Rob Dini – Mobile:  0447 331 865   Email:
Paul Theakston -  Mobile: 0428 259 231  Email:

Malleefowl information sessions

Southern land managers are encouraged to attend malleefowl information sessions in the Buronga and Hillston regions during December with the aim of establishing a Southern NSW malleefowl recovery group:

Monday 12 December:  10 am - 3 pm
Local Land Services Buronga office, 32 Enterprise Way, Buronga
Wednesday 14 December:  10 am - 3 pm
Hillston - venue to be advised on RSVP

Discussion will include:
  • Malleefowl 101:  who they are, why they are special and worth protecting
  • Ecology and conservation: what we know and most importantly, what we don’t know
  • What can communities do and what are they doing?
  • Why monitoring is important and how it’s done
  • What happens to monitoring data? Database, reporting and adaptive management
Register and RSVP by 7 December to Ronni O’Donnell at the Buronga office on phone: 03 5021 9429,  mobile: 0409 334 956  email:


1080, Canid Pest Ejector training, and wild dog workshops

Western Local Land Services, supported by Australian Wool Innovation, is offering a series of free Canid Pest Ejector, 1080 and Pindone training, and wild dog control workshops across the region.

Successful completion of the training will result in a five year accreditation to use baited products including purchasing 1080 capsules for Canid Pest Ejectors (CPE).
Following the training a wild dog workshop will be delivered by an industry expert on the effective placement of baits and traps, Interpreting evidence of wild dogs and foxes, monitoring using motion sensor cameras, and recording sights on Feral Scan.

Landholders attending the day have the opportunity to pre-order subsidised CPE kits for $200 (normally valued at $400).  Landholders wishing to purchase subsidised CPE kits MUST place an order before 16 December to claim the subsidised rate. 
Workshops will be held at:
Anabranch – Monday 30 January 2017    
Community Hall   9am to 4pm
Pooncarie – Tueday 31 January 2017 
Community Hall   9am to 4pm
Ivanhoe – Wednesday 1 February 2017        
Rural Fire Service Centre    9am to 4pm
Hillston – Thursday 2 February 2017
Ex- Serviceman’s Club    9am to 4pm
Balranald – Friday 3 February 2017
Homebush Hotel     9am to 4pm
Register and RSVP by 16 December to:
Kade Small - 0447 325 418  Email:
Shae Brennan - 0447 337 653   Email:
Spaces and CPE kits are limited at each location so register early to avoid missing out.

Farming Together Initative 

The $14.9m Farming Together initiative is a national, two-year campaign for primary producers and processors to collaborate and claim marketplace power.

This Federal Government initiative aims to build financial and societal sustainability across Australia’s primary producers.

Visit the Farming Together website to find our more about  the assistance available for product research and development for farmers who become part of a collaborative group, either as a co-operative, as a collective bargaining entity, or through a less-formal network.


New strain of Rabbit Haemorrhagic Virus
confirmed in western NSW

RHDV-2, a new strain of the Rabbit Haemorrhagic Virus (previously known as the rabbit calicivirus) has been confirmed in Western NSW, following detection of the disease in a rabbit found dead at Broken Hill in August.

RHDV-2 was first discovered in Canberra in May 2015 and the disease has since spread to multiple sites in New South Wales and South Australia, but this recently confirmed recording of the virus is the first time it has been detected in Western NSW.

“While the wild rabbit population has developed significant resistance to RHDV-1 since its introduction to the Australian rabbit population in 1996, the newly emerged RHDV-2 is believed to be a more deadly, virulent strain of the virus,” said Dr Sophie Hemley, Local Land Services Western District Veterinary Officer.  

Local Land Services Western Region is urging landholders to report rabbit deaths to their nearest Local Land Services office, so that the spread of the disease can be monitored.

For more information contact David Creeper, Manager Biosecurity and Emergency Services – 0429 234 972


Get in touch with us

If you’d like some advice or support with agricultural productivity, natural resource management or pest and weed management, please contact one of the staff members at the office nearest you. 

Western Region Staff Contacts

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Central West Local Land Services newsletter
Riverina Local Land Services newsletter
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Local Land Services Western Region
Freecall: 1300 795 299

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© State of NSW through the Dept of Trade and Investment, Regional Infrastructure and Services, 2014 · 32 Enterprise Way · Buronga, NSW 2739 · Australia