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Get up-to-date with all that has, is and will be happening around the Western region. 
 
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December 2016

Winners of the Life and Light in the
Western Region announced


                     
Winner of the People's Choice was Emma Crameri with 'Cobar Sunsets & Working Dogs'. 

The winners of the 2016 Life and Light in the Western Region Photo Competition were recently announced at a gala awards night held at the Town Hall Façade in Broken Hill.

The theme for the 2016 competition was ‘Rocks, Rust, Stars and Dust’, which hoped to inspire entrants to focus on the incredible western landscape (rocks), the history of the region (rust), our awesome night skies (stars) and the red earth (dust) that has come to characterise the west.

Winners of each of the categories were:

  • Resilient Local Communities: Aboriginal Fish Traps - Jordan Spencer
  • Productive Local Communities: Ewe Been Here Long - Simon Seppelt
  • Natural Local Environments: Galahs at water - Anika Molesworth
  • Sustainable Agriculture: Precious - Lauren Sallustio
  • Rocks, Rust, Stars and Dust: Bare Limbs - Katelynn Herring
  • People’s Choice: Cobar Sunsets & Working Dogs - Emma Crameri
All winning entries along with a number of other images from each category are available on the Local Land Services Western Region website. 
 

Great turnout for on-property field day
at Wyndham Station



Last month around 35 people attended an on-property field day at Wyndham Station in the Wentworth area, where they learnt the value of achieving land consistency, which can ultimately result in increased stock capacity and productivity.

                       
Angus Whyte and Nigel Kerin at the on-property field day at Wyndham Station.

The theme of the day was “your true wealth lies in grass not your animals”, and the main messages delivered by Western Division Resilient Landscapes Project mentor, Angus Whyte who hosted the field day, and guest speaker, 2008 NSW Farmer of the Year Nigel Kerin, were:
  • we are grass sellers, not livestock producers
  • the people cost of not being in control of your income
  • the balance between breeding and trading livestock
  • the cost of not matching stocking rate to carrying capacity
  • returns per hectare vs returns per head
  • "it's hard to be in the black if you are not in the green".
Make sure you check out the Local Land Services Western Region website for full details of all our upcoming events. 
 
 

DustWatch survey demonstrates the benefits of sustainable farming methods


A recent report detailing landscape conditions in the Western region has revealed a number of positive trends which would be benefiting farmers and community members alike.

The main points to emerge from the ‘DustWatch Network and Roadside Survey 2016’ were:
  • best management practices are increasing in the cropping lands of the south-west of the region
  • groundcover levels were better than expected
  • that the land was managed more sustainably
  • that the level of collaboration is high and effective in delivering knowledge, skills and changes to behaviour.


    Office of Environment & Heritage Senior Team Leader John Leys, Local Land Services Western Region Officer Isobel Colson and Manager of Land Services Russell Grant, recently met up in Dubbo to go through the DustWatch survey. 
The ‘DustWatch Network and Roadside Survey 2016’ was made possible by a grant Local Land Services Western Region received through the National Landcare Programme.
 
 

Valuable skills obtained from tactical grazing
management workshop 


A small but enthusiastic group of people attended a tactical grazing management workshop in Balranald at the end of November, where they learnt about the principles of tactical grazing management, including pasture and livestock production and planning for changing seasonal conditions.

                
Local landholder Tim O'Halloran discussing his grazing management strategy and recording procedure.   

Some of the skills those in attendance obtained from completing the two-day course were:
  • measuring groundcover
  • estimating the amount of forage and determining stocking rates
  • estimating digestibility of feed
  • identifying key pasture species
  • monitoring utilisation level of key perennial plant species
  • estimating shrub cover and the impact on potential pasture growth
  • assessing livestock - fat scoring sheep
  • setting up a long-term monitoring system.
This workshop was the last in a series of four tactical grazing management workshops that were held for landholders across the Western region over the past year. 

For more information regarding tactical grazing, contact Rob Dini or Kade Small in the Buronga office on (03) 5021 9460. 

Great day exchanging plant knowledge enjoyed by all


Many landholders and community members around the Naree Station area are now able to identify more native plants, following our plant identification workshop that was held at the start of December.

Presented by Australian Network for Plant Conservation Project Manager, Martin Driver, the workshops included paddock walks that allowed participants to get hands-on plant identifying experience.

           
Mr Driver explains to the group what to look out for during the plant identification workshop.

Senior Land Services Officer Kyra Roach said those in attendance thoroughly enjoyed the day, and all left with greater knowledge in a number of areas including:
  • the benefits of retaining native plants on your property
  • how to identify native plants
  • how to manage native plants to benefit productivity. 
For more information about plant identification, contact Kyra Roach on (02) 6870 8626.

Time to check in with our vets

           
Local Land Services Western Region vets Charlotte Cavanagh and Sophie Hemley. 

Where is your Christmas ham coming from this year?
 
Christmas preparations are in full swing in most households in the Western region - the tree is decorated and Santa’s list has been sent, but have you thought about your Christmas ham?

As most of us know there are two types of pigs – feral and domestic:

  • Feral pigs are classified as pest animals and it is illegal to keep them as pets, breed from them or transport them. Heavy fines apply. 
     
  • Domesticated pigs can be kept, however they must be recorded on your Annual Land and Stock Return. Last year 17 properties in Local Land Services Western Region recorded pig stocks, with seven of these properties having 10 or more animals.

Over Christmas, pig owners are reminded that pet and grower pigs cannot be fed any meat, meat products or anything that has been in contact with meat.

This practice is termed swill feeding and caused the foot-and-mouth disease outbreak in the United Kingdom in 2011.

Swill feeding is banned throughout Australia.

You can find more information on swill feeding here, or contact Charlotte Cavanagh on 0429 773 021 or Sophie Hemley on 0417 248 135.

We wish everyone a great Christmas and look forward to continuing to work with you in 2017.

 

Want to use fire to manage invasive native scrub? NOW is the time to start planning!


While many landholders have fond memories of 2010 due to its high rainfall, it can also be pinpointed as the cause of a significant amount of invasive native scrub (INS) being established.

Six years on, these seedlings are likely to be at the critical stage of around 30-40 cm in height, and if left alone any longer will be difficult to be burnt out.

With many areas again enjoying a year of above average rainfall, there is plenty of grass growth around making it the perfect time to start planning an approach to managing your INS.

                     
Established INS seedlings, site suitable for burning. Photo: Darryl Green

For further information:
  • Your local Rural Fire Services to discuss burn activities and planning for your property 
  • INS control - Senior Land Services Officer Brian Dohnt (02) 6836 1575
  • Property Vegetation Plan requirements – Team Leader for Native Vegetation Silvana Keating (03) 5021 9404.
 

New funding available!


Through the Western region small land management grants, grants of up to $5,000 addressing the following investment themes have just become available:
  • training, education and community activities
  • weed management activities.

It is worth noting that the following financial limits apply to the small land management grants program:

  • individuals may receive a maximum of $5,000 per financial year. If you have successfully completed a project you may reapply if you have not reached individual limit.
  • groups may receive a maximum of $5,000 per property involved per financial year. If a group has successfully completed a project they may reapply to the funding category if the group has not reached the limit.
More information is available on the Local Land Services Western Region website.
 

Relief for storm-affected primary producers


Minister for Primary Industries, Niall Blair, has announced Agricultural Natural Disaster Relief for eligible primary producers within parts of the Central Darling, Wentworth, Broken Hill and Balranald Local Government Areas and part of the unincorporated area of western NSW.

You can get further information here.

Enrol to vote for the 2017 locally elected
board member elections

 
Local Land Services is encouraging ratepayers to enrol for the 2017 local elections.

In mid-2017, Local Land Services will hold elections for locally elected board members.

One ratepayer from each holding is eligible to enrol to vote.

Enrolling and voting ensures strong local representation, which guarantees local boards are representing the needs of ratepayers.

Ratepayers must enrol before being able to vote in the elections.

Enrol to vote forms are available from any Local Land Services office or can be completed online at www.lls.nsw.gov.au

Local elections will be held in mid-2017 via online or postal methods.

Enrolment forms will be delivered to all ratepayers with the 2017 annual rates notice along with information on how to vote.

Remember only ratepayers who have enrolled can vote for locally elected board members.

A new approach to land management
and conservation

Last month on 17 November, the NSW Parliament passed the Biodiversity Conservation Bill and Local Land Services Amendment Bill.

The new framework gives farmers the tools and flexibility to manage and protect their land, allowing them to get on with the business of farming and providing incentives to conserve native vegetation. The reforms:

  • invest $240 million in private conservation over four years and $100 million in the “Saving our Species” program
  • make land management easier with a simpler legislative package
  • focus on conserving biodiversity at a bioregional and State level — rather than at the site-by-site level
  • ensure land clearing is assessed under one set of consistent rules.
The NSW Government’s Land Management website contains information and fact sheets for landholders wanting to know more. 

New insect predator unleashed on
boxing glove cactus


Local Land Services Western Region has released a new insect predator on invasive cactus infestations in Western NSW.

The bio-control agent, a type of cochineal insect, will specifically target boxing glove cactus, also known as coral cactus, or Cylindropuntia fulgida.

This particularly unpleasant weed can injure both people and animals with its sharp thorns, reduces livestock access to pastures and displaces native plant species.

                         
A boxing glove cactus plant growing near Stephens Creek, close to Broken Hill. 


The cochineal insect biotype, Dactylopius tomentosus, was released into a substantial population of boxing glove cactus in the north-west corner of NSW near Tibooburra.

For more information about the boxing glove cactus project contact Mitch Plumbe at the Broken Hill office on (08) 8082 5204.

Mozzie disease risk warning


In the last few months, inland NSW has experienced heavy rains and significant flooding, resulting in water lying around.
This water provides ideal conditions for mosquito breeding.

With the increased mosquito numbers, there is an increased risk for people to be infected with mosquito borne diseases, including Ross River and Barmah Forest virus. More rarely mosquitoes may carry Murray Valley encephalitis virus and Kunjin virus.

Many people will have no symptoms if infected. However a few days after being bitten some will feel generally unwell, and may have sore joints, muscle aches, rash, fever and tiredness.

Find out how you can protect yourself from mosquito borne diseases.

 

Weather Report 



Some fast facts about the weather in November. 



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

Dates for your Diary

 

Get Quad Safe in Bourke

Tocal College, in partnership with SafeWork NSW, is offering subsidised quad bike training to landholders and farm workers.

You have the chance to get quad safe with a one-day practical course aimed to help landholders and farm workers apply safety measures around the use of quad bikes on farms.

Courses are available in Bourke on 13 and 14 January and throughout NSW until June 2017.

To register or get more information contact Kim Griffiths: (02) 4939 8881.


1080 Canid Pest Ejector training and
wild dog control  workshops

Local Land Services Western Region, supported by Australian Wool Innovation, is offering a series of free 1080 Canid Pest Ejector 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.
 
Workshops will be held at: 

  • Anabranch - Monday 30 January 2017

  • Pooncarie - Tueday 31 January 2017

  • Ivanhoe - Wednesday 1 February 2017

  • Hillston - Thursday 2 February 2017

  • Balranald - Friday 3 February 2017

Register and RSVP by 16 December to: 

Kade Small - 0447 325 418 or kade.small@lls.nsw.gov.au
Shae Brennan - 0447 337 653 or shae.brennan@lls.nsw.gov.au 


Western Landcare Forum - Broken Hill
4 - 5 August 2017  
 
Held every two years, the 2017 Western Landcare Forum will explore the relationship between healthy landscapes and healthy food and celebrate the diverse range of produce from our unique region.
 
It is a great opportunity for landholders and groups from all over the Western region to look at current trends involving food provenance and sustainability, how they can take advantage of these trends and put the produce of Western NSW on the map (where it belongs!).

For more information or to get involved, speak to your local Landcare Coordinator or contact Fiona Harris on (02) 6872 2144 or westernlandcareforum@gmail.com.

Until next time...

If you want anymore information about anything that has featured in the December newsletter, please contact your Local Land Services Western Region office. 

Please pass this newsletter onto anyone you believe would benefit or enjoy seeing what has been happening in the Western region, and you can also offer feedback on the content of this newsletter and what you'd like to see in future here. 

From the team at Local Land Services Western Region, we wish you a safe and merry Christmas and here's to a bigger and better 2017. 

 
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Local Land Services Western Region
Web: www.western.lls.nsw.gov.au
Freecall: 1300 795 299






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