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Western Local Land Services - February newsletter

2018 Life and Light Photo Competition is underway

Amateur and professional photographers alike are being encouraged to get their cameras out and capture some great shots in the Western region to enter into the 2018 Life and Light Photo Competition.

The theme for this year’s competition is ‘What makes our outback special?’

With the competition celebrating its 20th year, the organising committee is excited to announce a new category ‘20 years of Life and Light’, which is open for photos that have been entered over the past 19 years and do not have to fit into this year’s theme.

In addition to this category, there is also a category for professional photographers, ensuring everyone has the opportunity to take part in this great competition.

Like last year, all photos must be submitted through
Life and Light website which also has all the information, frequently asked questions, entry rules and more about the competition.

Entries for the 2018 Life and Light Photo Competition are now open and will close on 31 March, with winners to be announced at Agfair in Broken Hill on Friday, 4 May.

For more information contact Western Landcare coordinator, Henry Gregory on 0427 861 816 and visit the
Life and Light website to submit your photographs.

This photo titled 'Beautiful colours in the sunset' by Lucy Rasheed Gale was entered in last year's competition. The highly regarded photo competition represents a great opportunity for photographers of all abilities to capture the beauty, diversity and uniqueness of the Western region, the people and flora and fauna that live in it.

Landholders reminded to be mindful of zoonotic diseases 

Landholders in the Western region are being warned to be vigilant for Leptospirosis (also known as a zoonotic disease) after nine pigs were found to be positive for Leptospirosis Pomona.

After 10 feral pigs were captured in the Western region toward the end of last year, routine blood testing was carried out which revealed nine of the pigs were positive for Leptospirosis Pomona. 

Leptospirosis Pomona can be spread between pigs and humans through contact with birthing fluids and urine, particularly on areas of skin with cuts and abrasions. 

Spreading can also occur by contact with water or soil infected with animal urine. 

In humans, infection can cause severe symptoms including flu like symptoms, chronic fatigue, joint pain and kidney failure while in pigs it can cause abortions, stillbirths and weak piglets.

Landholders with any animal health questions regarding zoonotic diseases should contact one of our three District Veterinarians or visit the NSW Department of Primary Industries website:
  • Charlotte Cavanagh, Bourke, 0429 773 021
  • Hannah Williams, Balranald, 0439 830 280
  • Felicity Wills, Broken Hill, 0409 858 901.

One control against zoonotic diseases can be wearing gloves when in contact with body fluids and ensuring those fluids don't come into contact with any other parts of your body.  

Monitoring traps installed in Sunraysia to prove area is free of pests

We have recently worked with NSW Department of Primary Industries (Biosecurity & Food Safety) to install Asian Citrus Psyllid (ACP) and Tomato Potato Psyllid (TPP) traps at five locations throughout the Sunraysia region. 

The ACP is a small citrus pest that generally causes minor damage to citrus leaves, however it can carry Huanglongbing which is a bacterial disease that is fatal to citrus trees.

Once a citrus tree becomes infected with Huanglongbing there is no cure and whilst it can take a few years for symptoms to appear, the tree will eventually die. 

 TPP is exotic to NSW but has been detected in Western Australia. TPP spreads Zebra Chip in potatoes which causes discolouration within the potato and they are unmarketable. 

It also affects other plants such as tomatoes and capsicums. 

Some actions for landholders to minimise risks associated with ACP and TPP include:

  • sourcing propagation material of a known high health status from reliable suppliers
  • practising on-farm biosecurity to prevent entry, establishment and spread of pests and diseases
  • ensuring all staff and visitors are instructed and adhere to your on-farm hygiene requirements
  • regularly monitor your orchard and crops 
  • keeping records. 

For more information about ACP or TPP, contact Western Local Land Services Senior Land Services Officer, Gregory Moulds on 0427 311 445.

Gregory Moulds pictured setting up the traps. The purpose of these traps is to gain evidence to prove NSW is free of these pests

Landholders upskill in pest animal management following training in Bourke

A one-day 1080 Pindone and Canid Pest Ejector (CPE) training workshop was held in Bourke in mid-February with landholders taking the opportunity to gain a greater understanding and ability to manage pest animals.

Attendees were led through practical and theory training, which included updates to legislation, what is expected of landholders with regards to pest animal management and a demonstration on setting a CPE. 

It also gave landholders the opportunity to gain important accreditation which is compulsory to purchase baits from Western Local Land Services and lasts for five years. 

At the conclusion of the training, attendees provided an update to Western LLS staff on what they had been experiencing on their properties and in their local communities regarding pest animal activity. 

Upcoming training opportunity 

Another workshop based in Pooncarie is scheduled for early March, see details at the bottom of this e-newsletter or click here.

Western LLS Biosecurity Officer, Colin Betts (left) and attendees from the recent training session in Bourke. 

Work to continue following feral pig management meeting in January

Western Local Land Services recently organised a meeting with interested landholders and stakeholders including local Landcare groups, National Parks and Wildlife Services, Pest Lures and Gotabug to discuss the best management practices for feral pigs.

The meeting was held at Balranald and a number of important items were discussed, including:

  • monitoring and reporting
  • best practice for ground and aerial control
  • methods for baiting and trapping
  • policy and procedure.
Opportunity for landholder feedback

Through a partnership with Pest Lures and other stakeholders, we are conducting a brief survey on feral pigs which aims to capture landholder concerns and current management of feral pigs in the Western region. The survey will help to inform ongoing feral pig management throughout the region.

The survey is open until Friday, 16 March and can be completed by clicking here.

For further information regarding the management of feral pigs contact your local Western Local Land Services Biosecurity Officer or Senior Biosecurity Officer, Robynne Wells-Budd on 0439 596 614.

Andy McKinnon (Western LLS) and Mark Lamb (Pest Lures) (standing) with Johno McLean (Western LLS), Barry Kelly (Gotabug) and Matt McClelland (NPWS) at the recent meeting in Balranald.

Landholders reminded to pay their 2018 Local Land Services rates

Landholders across NSW that are yet to pay their 2018 Local Land Services rates are being reminded they are due by Monday, 26 February.

Rates, which were mailed to landholders in mid-January, are a vital source of income for Local Land Services as they support the organisation's biosecurity, emergency response and animal health work across NSW.

Work supported by rates includes:
  • supporting landholders to control pests and meet their legal obligations
  • our vets’ animal health programs
  • our biosecurity and surveillance programs which limit and prevent pest and disease incursions
  • supporting agriculture and animals during emergencies
  • supporting stock identification and traceability systems.
The payment methods for rates are:
  • online by clicking here
  • BPay – telephone and internet banking
  • by phone – call 1300 738 070 to pay by MasterCard or Visa
  • post a cheque or money order with the remittance slip on your rates notice. 
For more information on rates or to pay your rates, head to our website by clicking here

Western Local Land Services District Veterinarian, Dr Charlotte Cavanagh demonstrates how to asses rams for brucellosis at an on-farm biosecurity field day in 2016. Much of the work by of our vets and Biosecurity Officers is covered by rates. 

Details of autumn baiting program confirmed following stakeholder meeting

Western Local Land Services have confirmed the details of its autumn wild dog aerial and ground baiting program following a recent one-day meeting with stakeholders in Cobar.

Western Local Land Services Biosecurity Officers, who will carry out the baiting program, met with representatives of pest animal control groups and Landcare groups from around the Western region. 

Also at the meeting were NSW Farmers Wild Dog Coordinator, Bruce Duncan and Australian Wool Innovation's On-farm Property Manager, Ian Evans. 

The meeting was an opportunity for Western Local Land Services to inform those in attendance of its plan for the upcoming baiting program, while also giving them a chance to respond and raise potential opportunities or risks.

For more information regarding the upcoming autumn baiting program or the management of pest animals, landholders should contact their Western Local Land Services Biosecurity Officer or Team Leader, Tim Wall on 0428 915 070.

Western Local Land Services Biosecurity Officers also received Bio-Map training when they were in Cobar to meet with the wild dog baiting program stakeholders. 

Time for landholders to have their say on Ovine Johne's disease management

Animal Health Australia, Sheep Producers Australia and Wool Producers Australia are currently seeking input from the sheep and wool industry on the future management of Ovine Johne’s disease (OJD) in Australia.

Management of OJD in Australia operates under the current National OJD Management Plan 2013-2018 which is now up for review. 

The industry bodies released a discussion paper on 29 January and want the feedback of producers as to whether current OJD management practices are useful.

For example what are your thoughts on: the questions on the Sheep Health Declaration, Regional Biosecurity Areas, Vaccination and the SheepMAP?

Your feedback will guide how OJD is managed into the future so don’t miss out on having your say!

Further information is available by clicking here while feedback can be provided online by clicking here, via email by clicking here or via post at: 

OJD Discussion Paper
AgSTAR Projects
PO Box 384
Coonabarabran NSW, 2357

Feedback/submissions close on Monday, 12 March. 

Management of OJD in Australia operates under the current National OJD Management Plan 2013-2018 which is now up for review.  

Important update for pig producers regarding traceability 

At the start of this month (1 February), state and federal governments introduced mandatory reporting of all pig movements to the PigPass database. 

PigPass is a national tracking system which provides real time information on the movements of all pigs in Australia. This enables authorities to quickly determine the source of a disease outbreak and notify people with pigs in the affected area to stop the spread of disease. 

 A PigPass National Vendor Declaration (PigPass NVD) form must be completed when you move pigs from your property. This applies to all pig owners and producers, regardless of the numbers of the pigs moved. 

For more information regarding PigPass
click here.

PigPass is designed to link pigs to a property of origin using a Property Identification Code (PIC), registered pig identification (ear tags and tattoos), and pig movement documentation (the PigPass NVD)

More than 2,700 people consulted for Reconciliation Action Plan

After an extensive four-month, statewide consultation period, Local Land Services final draft Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) will soon be submitted to the Local Land Services Board and Reconciliation Australia for endorsement after final comments on the Plan were received in early February. 

In total, more than 2,700 individuals and local Aboriginal groups were consulted across NSW to help in developing practical actions that build respectful relationships and create opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The draft RAP identifies actions that Local Land Services can take across key areas including:

  • enhancing respect
  • enriching relationships
  • creating opportunities.

Western Local Land Services Aboriginal Communities Officer, Blackie Gordon said the organisation had a vision for reconciliation and to work collaboratively with First Nations people to help protect and strengthen cultural heritage, share traditional land management knowledge and care for Country.

To view the final draft RAP click here

Local Land Services is demonstrating its commitment to reconciliation through the development of its first Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). 

Why it's important to record your livestock movements

For any landholders that are unsure of what their responsibilities are when it comes to recording the movement of their livestock, the Livestock Biosecurity Network (LBN) recently published an article on this topic and how important it is that this is done accurately. 

Some of the questions covered include why do we record livestock movements and who needs to record livestock movements while a guide is also provided to record livestock movements on the National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) database. 

To view the article that is on the LBN website click here while landholders can also contact our District Veterinarians for advice in this area:

Charlotte Cavanagh, Bourke, 0429 773 021
Hannah Williams, Balranald, 0439 830 280
Felicity Wills, Broken Hill, 0409 858 901.

Among other things, the NLIS enhances Australia's capacity to trace livestock during food safety, product integrity and biosecurity incidents. 

Weather report 

Some fast facts about the weather in January.


Dates for the diary

Funding opportunity for community groups in the Western region

There is currently an opportunity for community organisations in the Western region to apply for funding through the NSW Environmental Trust's 2018 round of its Restoration and Rehabilitation Grants Program.

If you have a project that will assist in the ongoing sustainable management and stewardship of significant environmental assets and services in NSW than apply for a grant with grants of between $5,000 and $100,000 are available.

Applications close 3pm Monday, 26 March and more details and application forms can be found by clicking here or by calling (02) 8837 6093.

1080 Pindone and CPE Training (Pooncarie)

Information: Western Local Land Services is offering landholders a great opportunity to upskill through a one-day 1080 Pindone and Canid Pest Ejector (CPE) training workshop. The workshop will give landholders the opportunity to gain important accreditation which is compulsory to purchase baits from Western Local Land Services and lasts for five years.  When and where:

  • Community Hall, Pooncarie on Friday, 9 March.

Contact: RSVP by Monday, 5 March to Biosecurity Officers Lynda Holley on 0427 200 820 or Lee Mannix on 0429 614 953.

Hay Ag & Pastoral Innovation Expo

Information: The Hay Ag & Pastoral Innovation Expo will showcase innovation and technology for production in extensive agricultural zones. This includes in equipment, technology, telecommunications, software programs and general training. 
When: 12 noon Friday, 9 March to 10 pm and re-commencing at 9 am on Saturday, 10 March. 
Where: Shear Outback, Cobb Highway, Hay. 
Contact: Riverina LLS Senior Land Services Officer, Sally Ware on 0429 307 627 or click here.


Public meetings for conversion of Western Lands leases to freehold

Information: Learn more about applying to purchase your Western Lands lease. New Crown land legislation is coming into force this year which may allow eligible leaseholders to purchase their Western Lands lease. The information sessions will explain the eligibility criteria, application and assessment process, plus price and payment options.

Western Local Land Services are not running these sessions but where possible will have staff in attendance. Sessions will be held in:  

  • Coomealla Memorial Club - 6.30 pm, 27 Feb 
  • Balranald Ex-Services Memorial Club - 6.30 pm, 28 Feb
  • Hillston Community Centre - 6.30 pm, 7 March
  • Cobar Bowling and Golf Club, 6.30 pm, 8 March
  • Broken Hill Racecourse, 6.30 pm, 5 April.

Further information: Call 1800 886 235 or visit the Crown Land website by clicking here

Until next time...

If you want more information about anything that has featured in the February newsletter, please hit reply or contact your local Western Local Land Services office.

Please forward this newsletter onto anyone who would benefit or enjoy seeing what has been happening in the Western region.

You can also offer feedback and suggestions on what you'd like to see in future by clicking here. 
We welcome your feedback about this newsletter.  Please feel free to pass it on to anyone you think may be interested. If you would like to be added to our mailing list, subscribe here.

Western Local Land Services 
Freecall: 1300 795 299

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