Your monthly update on programs, projects and more in the Western region
Final chance to have your say on the NSW Wild Dog Fence Extension project
Thanks to everyone that has already participated and provided feedback on the NSW Wild Dog Fence Extension project through the recent face-to-face and online sessions, as well as to the project team via phone or email.
The project is currently developing its Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and the community consultation aspect of this is a very important part of its development.
If you haven't already provided feedback and wish to, register for the final online session (Tuesday 15 December, 1-2 pm) by emailing the project team on firstname.lastname@example.org. If you cannot make this session a recording of a previous session can be viewed by clicking here.
If you wish to provide feedback on the project please contact the project team by email or (02) 5852 1215 by
5 pm on Friday 18 December. Further information about the EIS and the project more generally is available on the LLS website.
Notice of intent to issue a tender
The NSW Government will soon be calling for tenders for the main phase of construction of the project. The project team are looking to assist regional NSW businesses in this process by creating a panel of suppliers who will then be able to quote on individual stages of the build. All NSW businesses that believe they would have the capacity and experience to carry out this work are encouraged to apply.
Once it opens, the tender will be added to the NSW Government tenders website (www.suppliers.buy.nsw.gov.au/signup/supplier). If you wish to be informed when this happens, please contact the project team on email or (02) 5852 1215 if you haven't done this previously.
Animal health update
Extra care needed when handling stock in extreme weather
Despite only being midway through December, the temperature has already broken the 40-degree mark on several occasions. Producers are reminded of steps that can be taken to minimise heat stress on livestock, particularly during heatwave events. These steps include:
only handling livestock if it's essential
handling in the coolest part of the day
ensuring adequate access to shade and shelter, particularly in the yard or feedlot situations
access to clean, cool water. Livestock may reject water that is fouled or hot.
Click here for further information regarding heat stress and animals, or contact your local district veterinarian on the details below.
Vaccinate now to protect livestock from anthrax
Landholders are urged to vaccinate cattle and sheep against anthrax to prevent the disease which can kill livestock. Preventing anthrax from occurring through vaccination breaks the cycle of spore production, reducing the risk of anthrax occurring in the future. If vaccination is conducted on an annual basis, spores in the environment will die.
Landholders can apply to use the anthrax vaccine through their LLS district veterinarian, who can also provide specific advice for landholders based on their location and property history.
In NSW, anthrax tends to occur in an area which runs through the centre of the state between Bourke and Moree in the north to Albury and Deniliquin in the south. Anthrax is listed as a prohibited matter under the NSW Biosecurity Act and is a notifiable disease which must be reported immediately to the Emergency Animal Disease hotline, 1800 675 888.
Preventing Q fever
A new guide for livestock handlers, Taking the Q (query) out of Q fever, is now available. Click here to access the fact sheet which covers off on what Q fever is, who is at risk, how it is spread, signs of infection, reducing the risks and how the vaccine works.
Please contact your local district veterinarian for any animal health advice:
Charlotte Cavanagh (Bourke), 0429 773 021 or email
The project team continued with field work throughout November and by the end of the month had collared a further 11 feral pigs, taking the total to 26. A landholder involved in the project is currently undertaking free feeding with the project team to return mid-December to hopefully collar another four feral pigs.
With regards to the collaring of wild dogs, plans are continuing for it to recommence in autumn 2021. The project team were originally going to collar wild dogs in October and November this year, however due to there being no wild dog activity in or near the traps during the first few days of monitoring, the decision was made to postpone until next year.
Landholders that wish to be involved and potentially have wild dogs trapped on their property need to complete and return a property access agreement form.
Click here to view the property access agreement form.
This collaborative project is funded through the Australian Government's 'Communities Combatting Pest and Weed Impacts During Drought' program and has been driven by local landholders. For more information on the project contact Western LLS Senior Field Officer, Claudia Bryant on 0448 796 109 or email. Bruce Duncan (NSW Farmers Western Wild Dog Coordinator), Minister for Agriculture and Western NSW, Adam Marshall and Darren Marshall (Southern Queensland Landscapes) discussing the Western Tracks collaring project near Wanaaring in September.
Western NSW Pest Chat Webinar Series - wild rabbits and feral cats
Landholders and others with an interest in wild rabbits and feral cats that are yet to register for our upcoming webinar on these pest animals are encouraged to do so now.
The Western NSW Pest Chat Series will feature episodes on a number of pest animals, with recordings to be available as a resource. The webinar series comes following a successful funding application through the Australian Government's 'Communities Combatting Pest and Weed Impacts During Drought' program.
Time to register your interest in the autumn 2021 wild dog baiting program
Landholders wishing to participate in the aerial baiting program for the control of wild dogs in autumn 2021 should contact their local biosecurity officer to express their interest. Biosecurity officers can be contacted via our online enquiry form or by calling 1300 795 299.
Rubber vine confirmed in multiple locations in Western NSW
The presence of rubber vine (Cryptostegia grandiflora) at four sites near Wanaaring, Yantabulla and Weilmoringle has been confirmed with landholders and community members in the Bourke and Brewarrina Shire Council and unincorporated areas encouraged to check homestead gardens, yards, sheds, rivers and creeks for the prohibited weed.
As part of the ongoing 46,000 square kilometre assessment of north-west NSW, between Tibooburra and the Narran River, 191 properties have been inspected for rubber vine.
Rubber vine is a multi-stemmed shrub which can scramble up to 30 metres high in tree canopies or grow unsupported to three metres, forming dense thickets with dark green, glossy leaves. Its flowers are trumpet-shaped, up to five centimetres long and wide with five light-purple, pink or white pearls.
All parts of the plant are poisonous to people and livestock if eaten while the weed smothers and kills other plants, invades pastures, waterways and natural areas.
If you suspect you have rubber vine on your property or have a confirmed sighting elsewhere, contact the NSW Department of Primary Industries helpline on 1800 680 244. Click here for further information.
Have your say on the strategic direction of LLS
Stakeholders of Western LLS will be approached early in the new year to provide input into the development of Western LLS' local strategic plan 2021-2026.
Each LLS region has begun developing local strategic plans which are a requirement under the Local Land Services Act which states the plan 'is to set the vision, priorities and strategy in respect of the delivery of Local Land Services in the region, with a focus on appropriate economic, social and environmental outcomes'.
Western LLS has established a working group of specialist staff as well as a Western LLS Board member to develop the plan, with stakeholders to play a key role in providing expert advice and feedback on what is essential to their industry over the next five years.
Stakeholders will be contacted by members of the working group in the new year, however all stakeholders such as landholders and community members can have their say at any time. To do this, contact Project Officer, Silvana Keating on email@example.com or 0427 661 264.
Local strategic plans aren't new to LLS, with all LLS regions developing a local strategic plan in 2016 for a five-year period (2016-2021). Click here to view the current plan.
Calling for landholder mapping feedback
LLS is currently working with NSW Department of Planning, Industry & Environment on a project to gather landholder feedback regarding the Native Vegetation Regulatory (NVR) map, which indicates which land is either regulated or exempt from land clearing legislation under the Local Land Services Act.
The NVR map was only partially released in 2017 and there are two remaining categories of land that are yet to be published. LLS is inviting landholders to talk to us about the NVR map for their property, something that should take a few hours at most.
Participants will receive a map package showing all published and unpublished layers of the NVR map for their property, plus fact sheets explaining the map and the unpublished layers. You would then be contacted by phone to share your thoughts via a short survey.
The project is completely confidential and run independently by Elton Consulting. No personal details will be shared outside of the project team and your survey responses will not be identifiable in any way.
If you would like to participate or get further information, please contact the project team prior to Christmas on firstname.lastname@example.org or (02) 6360 9000 and you will be sent a consent form. A map package will be provided to you and the phone survey will be conducted later in January.
Before we go...
Christmas shut down dates
All LLS offices will be closed for Christmas from Friday, 25 December to Friday, 8 January. During this time:
If you suspect a significant animal pest, disease, or residue or experience a large number of unexplained livestock deaths, please contact the Emergency Animal Disease hotline on 1800 675 888.
If you need to report an exotic plant pest or disease, please call the Plant Pest hotline on 1800 084 881.
For assistance with non-emergency livestock health issues, please contact your nearest private vet.
Stay safe over the Christmas break and we look forward to seeing you in 2021.
Kicking goals in the Regent Parrot space
Western LLS and a number of its stakeholders have been carrying out some important work to protect the Regent Parrot in the south-west of our region. Some recent updates include:
fencing work at Topra Plains is near completion
cactus control works are underway at Tillara Station
phase 1 of on-ground works has started at Duxton Vineyards
filming of a case study on the Regent Parrot and this project is underway
planning is underway for a Western LLS expo event 'Pasture, Plant, Pests and Parrots' scheduled for 16 March 2021 in Euston - make sure you save the date!
For further information on the Regent Parrot or any of the project work contact Western LLS by clicking here or calling 1300 795 299.
Final reminders for completed surveys and monitoring reports
Landholders and Aboriginal community members that are yet to return their Regional Landholder and Aboriginal Community surveys are asked to do so as soon as possible. Up until early December, around 300 surveys had been returned which will see $6,000 donated to the Royal Flying Doctor Service.
Landholders that have an incentive project with Western LLS that requires annual photo point monitoring and are yet to submit their report for this year are asked to do so as soon as possible. Thanks to the landholders that have already completed this.
NRAR fields officers out and about throughout NSW
During December, the Natural Resources Access Regulator (NRAR) will be undertaking routine site inspections across much of NSW, including properties in the Sunraysia and Hillston areas in Western NSW. The purpose of the visits is to observe water management practices and provide additional support to landholders, while also confirming water activities on property are compliant.
All landholders will be contacted and given notice ahead of a visit, to give them the opportunity to check that their water activities are compliant with their individual conditions. Click here for further information.
Until next time...
Thanks for reading our December newsletter, our final newsletter for the year. We would appreciate it if you promote this through your networks, and if it has been forwarded to you, be sure to subscribe so you automatically receive it.
If there is anything listed you want further information about, be sure to get in touch with us.