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Issue 6: December 2015

In this issue:

Managing mesquite

Over the past few months we have been developing a management plan for mesquite, a declared Weed of National Significance which is becoming a significant issue in the Broken Hill-Wilcannia region. The aim of the plan is to ensure a coordinated, whole-of-community approach to the management of this weed.

We’re interested in hearing your thoughts on the plan and will be releasing it in late January 2016 for feedback.

In addition, we’re also rolling out the first phase of a mesquite control program in January 2016, which will focus on the Menindee Lakes area.

If you have any questions about the management plan or control program, please get in touch with:

David Lawrence, Local Community Manager, Broken Hill – 0429 049 386 or

Animal management issues

Plan ahead for Brucellosis testing

If you’re planning to join your flock over the coming months, you might like to consider checking your rams for Ovine Brucellosis beforehand.

Ovine Brucellosis is highly contagious and occurs in all sheep breeds. It causes considerable economic loss through ram wastage, low lambmarking percentages and long drawn-out lambing seasons.

The Department of Primary Industries recommends that all rams in the flock be checked at least one month prior to joining to ensure they are sound and free from abnormalities.

Local Land Services Western Region has experienced biosecurity officers located throughout western NSW who can assist with conducting the simple test for Ovine Brucellosis. To schedule an appointment, contact the officer nearest you.

Local Land Services Western Region Biosecurity Officers
  • Balranald – Lee Manix 0429 614 953
  • Brewarrina Col Betts 0429 392 047
  • Broken Hill Grant Davis 0400 873 378
  • Cobar Robynne Wells-Budd 0439 596 614
  • Hillston Andy McKinnon 0428 671 370
  • Ivanhoe Johno McLean 0427 470 544
  • Tibooburra John Hiscox 0429 913 425
  • Wentworth  Joe Dowling 0427 200 820
  • Wilcannia  Tim Wall 0428 915 070

Humpyback cases confirmed

The Department of Primary Industries is urging all sheep producers to keep a lookout and report signs of Humpyback, following confirmed cases in the Bourke area.

Veterinary Officer, Dr Charlotte Cavanagh said Humpyback has been associated with ingestion of Solanum esuralie (Quena/potato bush) and also Malvastrum americanum which are generally found six to 10 weeks after good rainfall.

“The toxins in these plants cause degenerative changes in the brain and spinal cord,” Dr Cavanagh said.

“Affected sheep show symptoms such as a humped back, stress gastroenteritis and fast noisy heart beat.

 “There is no cure for Humpyback but affected sheep should be allowed to rest and recover, with access to water and shelter.”

Dr Cavanagh said Humpyback is generally reported in hot weather when full wool merino sheep are mustered for shearing or during other management practices.

“To avoid Humpyback, you should consider rescheduling the muster in cooler weather,” Dr Cavanagh said.

If you're concerned about your sheep, please contact Dr Cavanagh on 02 6830 0003, so that an accurate diagnosis can be made.

Malvastrum americanum 

Celebrating the life and light of the Western Region

We're excited to be announcing this year's winners in the Life and Light in the Western Region Photo Competition next week at the Broken Hill Regional Art Gallery.

This year's competition has been our most successful to date with over 400 entries submitted across nine categories. We’d like to congratulate everyone who was selected as a finalist and wish them luck!

The finalist photographs will be on display at the Broken Hill Regional Art Gallery throughout December. Alternatively you can also view the entries in each category at the Light and Life in the Western Region Facebook Page.

Photo: "Free as a bird", finalist in the Open Colour category

Adapting to climate change

Are you doing things a little differently these days? Are you making slight changes to your land management to cope with extended droughts, longer hotter summers and extreme weather events? Adaptation might include things like putting in more shade for stock, using shorter, deeper troughs to reduce evaporation and keep water for stock cooler, joining or shearing stock at different times of the year.

Whatever it is you are doing we want to hear about it!  The CSIRO and Institute for Sustainable Futures have collaborated to produce a new online tool which helps every member of the community get involved in climate change adaptation by documenting and mapping how people are responding to changes in climate and weather.

his type of "citizen science" brings research and the community together so let's put the Western Region on the map!

Visit the website to find out more.

Training, resources and opportunities

Pastoral profit training  

If you’re a sheep grazier and would like to increase your business management skills, then you should sign up for the Pastoral Profit training course.

Pastoral Profit is a collaborative project between Meat & Livestock Australia, Australian Wool Innovation and other key stakeholders, designed to increase the skills, knowledge and confidence of graziers. 

The training course will enable you to develop improved business management strategies and increased confidence in decision making, thus achieving optimal business returns through better allocation of resources.  

Whether you have been in the industry for many years or if you are just starting out, this course is for you. 

The training is spread over six months and involves four days of face-to-face intensive training, which can lead to formal accreditation towards a Certificate IV in Agriculture should you choose to complete the pre and post program work.
The course is free and will be completed during the first six months of 2016. For more information contact Mark Gardner, Pastoral Profit NSW Coordinator, Vanguard Business Services on 02 6885 1925 or visit the Pastoral Profit website.
Need some help getting to a training course?

Local Land Services Western Region offers grants of up to $5000 to undertake training to improve your skills and knowledge of natural resource management under the new Western Region Small Land Management Grants Program.

If you’re interested in undertaking the Pastoral Profit training, you can apply for a grant to help cover the costs of your travel and accommodation. Contact our Land Services Officer, Cameron Downing, for more information about the grants and how to apply  02 6836 1575, 0417 974 189 or Alternatively, download a copy of the funding guidelines and application form at our website.

Building a regional food industry

Regional Development Australia Far West is interested in understanding more about the local food industry – including what is grown locally, by whom and how much is produced.

Many regions in Australia have significantly grown and diversified their economy by growing their local food industry. Anecdotal evidence suggests a considerable amount of foods are grown or produced in our region, however it appears very little of that food is processed, packaged and marketed in the region.

Many regions in the country are synonymous with their food industry, the Hunter is famous for its wine. The Northern Territory is synonymous with Crocodile and Buffalo. Regardless of the fantastic foods produced in our region we do not provide huge opportunities for locals or tourists to explore locally produced food.

As a community we can work together to realise our potential and create a sustainable and successful far west food industry. Please help us to understand more about the local food industry by completing this survey. It will take approximately 20 minutes to complete.

Photo: sourced from


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Local Land Services Western Region
Freecall: 1300 795 299