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Western Local Land Services - September newsletter

Gilgunnia Cluster Fence draws a massive crowd for open day

The Gilgunnia Cluster Fence that has had everyone throughout NSW talking was again the centre of attention when landholders, stakeholders and invited guests attending an open day and tour of the fence. 

The open day, which was held on Monday, 18 September at "Penshurst", was attended by close to 100 people who had come to acknowledge the work of the Gilgunnia Cluster Fence group and have a look at the amazing project. 

One of the key organisers of the Gigunnia Cluster Fence project, Dean Hague spoke to those in attendance as did Will Roberts, who is a landholder from Queensland with experience in cluster fencing. 

Federal Member for Parkes, Mark Coulton was also on hand to congratulate the Gilgunnia Cluster Fence group.

A tour of part of the 210 km fence which encloses 177,000 hectares was then undertaken following lunch. 

Western Local Land Services thoroughly enjoyed working with the Gilgunnia Cluster Fencing group on this project and would encourage any landholders interested in cluster fencing to contact their nearest office. 

The Gilgunnia Fencing project was funded under the Australian Government's 2016 Pest and Weed Drought Funding. 

Local Land Services staff member Brian Dohnt (blue shirt, back of ute) addresses attendees on the tour of the Gilgunnia cluster fence. More photos available on the Western Local Land Services Facebook page.

Biosecurity workshops almost bigger than Ben-Hur

It was great to see so many landholders attend our biosecurity workshop series that saw 24 events held in 24 different locations. 

All landholders that attended the workshop walked out with a ready to use template that can be used to get a biosecurity plan in place for their properties, which must be done by 1 October 2017, which is when the Livestock Production Assurance accreditation is due. 

Western Local Land Services organised these workshops to make it as easy as possible for landholders to get a plan in place, despite the fact that Animal Health Australia, on behalf of the Cattle Council of Australia, were the lead organisation regarding the requirement of having a biosecurity plan in place. 

Any landholders that missed the opportunity and are keen to get some assistance in getting a biosecurity plan in place should contact their nearest Western Local Land Services office. 

The scale and resources to get 24 workshops delivered in 24 different locations over 10 days was significant which made it very pleasing to staff to see strong attendance numbers at most events. 

Unique opportunity for landholders to take part in peer to peer program

Enthusiastic landholders have just over a week to get their applications in to take part in a mentoring program aimed at providing support and guidance to fellow landholders who want to make a positive change on their property.

The program is seeking to appoint two mentors whose role is to develop a one-on-one partnership with an emerging innovative landholder and provide support for on-farm innovation, development and practice change. Mentors will receive a fee for services.

In addition to mentors, participant applications are also being called for from landholders that want to make a positive change on their property and may be seeking information from peers about the best way forward or minimising any associated risks.

Applications for both mentors and participants close Friday, 29 September 2017. 

The guidelines for the program, both Expression of Interest forms and further information can be found by clicking here

The Western Resilient Landscapes Program is organised by Western Local Land Services and Soils for Life with support from the Rotary Club of Sydney.

Landholder James Leigo (facing crowd, in middle) was a mentor in the most recent program and hosted a field day on his property, "Dungarvan" at Bourke for other landholders to attend.

Spring wild dog baiting program to commence next week

Biosecurity staff will be working with pest animal control groups and Landcare groups over the coming weeks to implement the spring wild dog ground baiting program which is set to commence on Monday, 25 September. 

The management of wild dogs continues to be an ongoing issue for landholders throughout the Western region and much of NSW. 

While Western Local Land Services generally undertakes ground and aerial baiting, the spring baiting program will see all resources focused solely on ground baiting. 

This decision has been made due to:
  • the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) changing the standards that must be met to delivering aerial baiting
  • the timing for the permissions for the aerial baiting was not able to be met due to the changes in the EPA requirements
  • facilities and resources required to complete aerial baiting are not currently available (Western Local Land Services covers 42 per cent of NSW).
To give an idea of the resources that Western Local Land Services puts toward the management of wild dogs, the below figures come from the 2016-17 financial year:
  • twelve staff members worked in a ‘hands on’ capacity for wild dog control
  • A total of 118,077 kilometres were travelled by staff for wild dog control
  • an investment of $97,754 was made on baits and consumables for wild dog control
  • an investment of $283,590 was made in staff time for wild dog control.
The above costs were covered by landholder rates and a range of funding resources from state and federal government. 

Landholders wanting to get more involved in wild dog baiting and pest control management are asked to contact their nearest Western Local Land Services office

Wild dogs cause considerable losses to landholders each year. The best way to manage wild dogs is through programs that involve as many landholders from the one area. 

Landholders informed about using technology at recent field day 

A strong turnout of landholders have gained a great amount of knowledge in ways to advance their enterprises into the future at the technology in pastoral systems field day.

The field day, which was organised by landholder Gus Whyte and supported by Western Local Land Services, was held on Mr and Mrs Whyte’s property, “Wyndham Station” via Wentworth on Tuesday, 5 September.

Over 60 people, most of whom were landholders, attended the field day and took advantage of the opportunity to engage with local businesses, industry consultants, research groups and government organisations to see the technology that is available for use in pastoral livestock businesses.

Attendees participated in group discussion and also split into working groups where they focused on:
  • drones (uses, mustering, water and fence monitoring)
  • electricity ID (hardware, software, data use and stock selection)
  • electric fences (multi species fences)
  • telemetry (satellite based monitoring)
  • planning and record keeping (mapping, livestock records and chemical diary).

Landholders interested in hosting or attending a field day on technology should contact Senior Land Services Officer, Jaz Wells on 0417 488 496.

Justin Leamon from JLS Drones shows attendees how to compensate for wind when operating a drone. The field day was funded by National Landcare Programme.

Introducing our new vet Hannah Williams, based at Balranald

In August, our District Veterinarian based in Broken Hill, Sophie Hemley transferred to work with Riverina Local Land Services and is now based in Griffith. 

While we were sad to see Sophie go, we have been able to welcome a new District Veterinarian in Hannah Williams to the Western Local Land Services team. 

Hannah grew up in East Gippsland, Victoria and has a background in superfine Merino production. 

She recently graduated with a veterinary degree from Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga, however before commencing university, spent two years in Western Australia where she worked on extensive beef enterprises and within the live export industry. 

Now that she has commenced working for Western Local Land Services, Hannah is looking forward to working with landholders to identify and help resolve any issues with their livestock so that they are able to maximise the productivity and efficiency of their business. 

Please contact Hannah if you have any questions or concerns, or just want to welcome her to the Western region. 

You can also contact our other District Veterinarian, Charlotte Cavanagh who is based at Bourke. 

Hannah - 0439 830 280
Charlotte - 0429 773 021.

District Veterinarian, Hannah Williams recently commenced work with Western Local Land Services and will be based in our Balranald office. 

Funding available to manage priority weed threats in the Western region

Landholders and community groups are encouraged to apply for funding to undertake weed control works on land located within the Western Local Land Services region. 

The Western Weed Management program seeks to improve and sustain the condition of natural resources in the Western region by implementing control measures for weeds.

The Western Weed Management program will compliment the Western Regional Strategic Weed Management Plan 2017-2022 with a listing of applicable weed threats to this funding program. 

Those interested in applying are encouraged to read over the guidelines and conditions prior to submitting an expression of interest.

Expressions of interest must be submitted by 5 pm Friday, 13 October 2017.

The guidelines and EOI forms can be found by clicking here.

For more information contact your nearest Western Local Land Services office.

Senior Land Services Officer, Mitch Plumbe inspects some Devil's rope cactus to assess the establishment and effects of cochineal. 

Important update on the management of kangaroos in Western NSW

In response to the impact of record kangaroo numbers on pastoralists and the environment in Western NSW, key stakeholders were invited to participate in a Kangaroo Management Workshop at Cobar in September 2016.  

Over two days workshop attendees collaborated to answer the question “How can we best work together to manage kangaroos for a resilient Western Division?”
The workshop was initiated by the Western Lands Advisory Council and supported by Western Local Land Services. 

It brought together pastoralists, support agencies, commercial industry representatives, policy makers, regulatory bodies and animal welfare organisations, with the goal of developing an informed and collaborative approach to kangaroo management in Western NSW.

Participants agreed on a number of outcomes at the workshop, including:
  • creation of a working group to advise government on all aspects of the kangaroo industry
  • organise an Indigenous Kangaroo Forum
  • develop a promotions program to improve public perceptions and relations
  • develop new markets for kangaroo products
  • implementation of alternative on-farm kangaroo management options and techniques.
To progress these actions, a Kangaroo Management Task force was formed, with the following representatives:
  • Ken Harrison - Regional Director Western, Department of Industry
  • Erlina Compton - General Manager, Western Local Land Services
  • Geoff Wise - Western Lands Advisory Council
  • Jim Maynard - Western Division Council, NSW Farmers
  • Stephen Wolter - Senior Team Leader Kangaroo Management Section, Office of Environment & Heritage
  • Peter Stathis - Senior Team Leader Biodiversity and Wildlife, Office of Environment and Heritage
  • David O'Shannessey - Chief Inspector, RSPCA
  • Tanya Stephens - Australian Veterinary Association
  • Russell Grant - Regional Specialist Manager, Western Local Land Services
  • Lachlan Gall - President, Pastoralists' Association of West Darling
  • Leon Zanker - Landholder and Western Landcare Representative
  • Julie Knight - Chair, Aboriginal Community Advisory Group
  • Robert Kemp - Kangaroo harvester
  • Fiona Garland - Regional Landcare Facilitator, Western Local Land Services.
Since its formation the task force has been meeting regularly to progress the action plan from the Kangaroo Management Workshop in Cobar. 

The aim is to develop a body with robust representation, good governance and an appropriate structure which will allow for a strong voice independent of the various organisations involved. 

At the same time the task force has been liaising with government and investigating ways to improve processes and outcomes in both the commercial harvest and non-commercial management of kangaroos. 

Task force members have been meeting with high level parliamentarians to raise awareness about the kangaroo issue and are also working towards a better understanding of the social licence issues associated with kangaroo management.
What can landholders do to help the task force in their efforts to improve the future of kangaroo management? 
  1. Apply for non-commercial licences from your local National Parks & Wildlife Service (NPWS) office. 
  2. If you wish to use kangaroo meat for dog/fox baiting request that the condition allowing this under an approved Local Land Services baiting program is added to your licence.
  3. If someone else is culling kangaroos on your property complete the appropriate section in the non-commercial licence application form.
If control of kangaroos takes place OUTSIDE the proper channels, NPWS does not get a true picture of kangaroo numbers and impact, and this makes it much harder to build a case for reform of kangaroo management.  

The Kangaroo Management Taskforce is working hard on improving avenues for effective kangaroo management in the Western region of NSW and we will keep you informed of further developments. 

Look out for us at the Australian Rangeland Conference 

Landholders attending the 19th Biennial Conference of the Australian Rangeland Society should keep an eye out for Western Local Land Services staff who will also be attending the event.  

The conference, which is being held in Port Augusta, South Australia from 25 to 28 September, will offer highly engaging topics, speakers and activities for attendees.

If you see any of our staff at the event, please take the opportunity to say g'day.

The theme of the conference is "transition to transformation".  

The spring edition of the Western Newsletter hits the stands

The latest edition of the Western Newsletter has just been produced and should be received by landholders in the Western region in the coming weeks. 

This edition focuses on a number of important topics such as biosecurity plans, recent erosion control work, total grazing pressure fencing and a recent stocking event of Murray cod fingerlings. 

To view the spring edition of the Western Newsletter click here

A new approach to land management in NSW 

On 25 August the new framework for land management in NSW commenced.
The Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 and Local Land Services Amendment Act 2016 take advantage of the best available science and data to ensure a balanced approach to rural land management and biodiversity conservation in NSW.
The new approach to rural land management strives to deliver triple bottom line outcomes for land owners by:
  • providing certainty and long term planning solutions that deliver balanced growth and value environmental assets
  • supporting land owners with advice, new tools and products to make the right choice for their farm system
  • creating more land use options through flexible codes and payments for private land conservation.
Next month, there will be information events held in Hillston and Cobar on 18 & 19 October which all landholders in those areas are encouraged to attend. 

Alternatively, we can also arrange to visit you on farm or talk over the phone. 

For further information click here or contact our Sustainable Land Management team on 1300 778 080. 

The new framework aims to be a fairer and more flexible system for landholders with a focus on delivering triple bottom line outcomes. 

September is monitoring month - make sure you submit your photos

Landholders with Incentives projects are reminded that they need to submit annual photo point monitoring.

The 'photo point report' to record your monitoring is available to download from our website.

You can choose to print the form and attach your photos and post to 'Monitoring Month' at PO Box 307, Cobar 2835 or fill it out digitally and email it by clicking here

The photo point template can be found by
clicking here.

If you have questions about how to submit your monitoring, please contact your local Incentives project officer.

An example of a monitoring photo.

Free quad bike safety training for landholders 

Free quad bike training is still available under the NSW Quad Bike Safety Improvement Program.

While landholders previously received a rebate, training through an authorised Registered Training Organisations is now not only free, but landholders who complete it will also receive a free compliant helmet, worth around $120. 

More information regarding this can be found by clicking here. 

Investing in Total Grazing Pressure management

What will make a difference to managing Total Grazing Pressure in the rangelands? 

A project is underway to identify where best to invest in research and development to achieve production gains through TGP management. Contribute your local knowledge and ideas, by completing an online survey by clicking here.
Led by NSW Department of Primary Industries, the project aims to review current knowledge and identify information gaps to develop an investment plan for research and development by Meat & Livestock Australia.  
The main regions of interest are the arid and semi-arid rangelands of central and south-west Queensland, western NSW, South Australia, and Western Australia's southern rangelands.

Local Land Services doing its part to advance reconciliation

We are committed to advancing reconciliation by fostering meaningful partnerships and relationships with Aboriginal communities across NSW. 
We are in the process of developing our first Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).

A draft RAP has been developed in collaboration with Reconciliation Australia and with the support of funding from the Australian Government's National Landcare Programme.

The document identified actions we can take across key areas, including:
  • enhancing respect
  • enriching relationships
  • preserving our past
  • creating opportunities.
We recognise the traditional owners of NSW and the primacy of their role in cultural heritage, cultural economy, cultural knowledge and connection to Country.
This will be Local Land Services' first Reconciliation Action Plan and we are seeking community input to ensure we build on the work already being undertaken in collaboration with communities to establish a solid foundation which supports our ongoing commitment to support local Aboriginal community, organisations, programs, events and the adoption of respectful protocols.
We are holding consultations across our region in December to gather input into our plan and to identify opportunities to work collaboratively towards reconciliation. 
To find out more and help us deliver services that support Aboriginal people to care for Country and share traditional land management knowledge click here

Senior Land Services Officer - Aboriginal Communities, Blackie Gordon leads a group demonstration about how Aboriginals used 'tools' such as rocks in their day-to-day lives. 

Weather report 

Some fast facts about the weather in August.

The August edition of the NSW Seasonal Conditions Summary is now available as is the latest NSW Climate Summary.

Dates for your diary

26th Kilfera field day (Ivanhoe)

About: Western Local Land Services will have a trade stand at the event with the opportunity for landholders to discuss:
  • funding opportunities
  • Landcare activities
  • grazing management 
  • pest and weed management
  • emergency management
  • training and workshops.

When and where: Friday, 22 September from 10 am. "Kilfera" Ivanhoe. 

More information: Senior Land Services Officer, Kaye Gottschutzke (03) 5021 9409.

Visit us at the Hillston Show

About: Come and chat to us about funding and partnership opportunities at the Hillston Show which is on Saturday, 23 September. You can get advice about:
  • funding and partnership opportunities
  • agricultural production
  • biosecurity management
  • natural resource management
  • Landcare.

When and where: Hillston Showground, Springs Rd, Hillston. 

More information: Senior Land Services Officer, Kaye Gottschutzke (03) 5021 9409.

Sustainable Land Management workshop series

About: A series of workshops have been organised to take place in the Western region that will give landholders an opportunity to be informed on the new land management framework, which commences on 25 August. Landholders will have the chance to ask questions or arrange for a staff member to visit their property.

When and where:

2 pm Wed, 18 Oct - Hillston Ex-Services Club
10 am Thur, 19 Oct - Cobar Bowling Club.

More information: Acting Team Leader, Steven Hoare on 0417 854 350. 

19th Biennial Conference of the Australian Rangeland Society 

About: The conference theme is "transition to transformation". Delegates will share their ideas and experience of the challenges and opportunities facing our rangeland environments, industries and communities during a time of significant change.

When and where: 25 to 28 September, Port Augusta, South Australia

More information: For more information click here.

2017 NSW Landcare and Local Land Services Conference

About: The NSW Landcare and Local Land Services Conference returns this October with the biennial event the primary showcase of partnerships between Landcare, community-driven natural resource management and Local Land Services. The conference will feature field trips, key note speakers and presentations from Landcare and Local Land Services' teams from across NSW.

When and where: 25 to 27 October, Albury NSW.

More information: For more information click here.

Until next time...

If you want more information about anything that has featured in the September newsletter, please 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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