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Western region update

August 2015

In this issue:

Great response to incentive funding EOIs 

More than 300 Expressions of Interest (EOIs) were received from across the Western Division when Local Land Services Western Region called for interest in the first round of a three-year program of incentives funding.

Local Land Services Western Region staff have been allocated as case officers to work one-on-one with land managers to develop project ideas beyond the EOI stage. They will help map project areas and provide general support through the application process. 

Due to the large interest in the program, the application deadline has been extended until
16 October, allowing both land managers and staff more time to work on applications. 

Only land managers who submitted an EOI are eligible to submit an application for assessment. However, anyone who missed out will have a chance to apply for upcoming opportunities such as District Discretionary funding in October this year and further incentive funding early in 2016. The program is expected to include more fencing opportunities for grazing management and support in the protection of high conservation areas. 

Funding is also vailable all year for up to $5000 in training and community activities

Pictured: From left Local Land Services staff Brian Dohnt, Mitch Plumbe, Jenny Azevedo and Rob Dini caught up with landholder Lincoln Old of “Belvedere” via Bourke to discuss the Incentives process. 

Animal management issues

Worm testing can save you money

Sheep producers are reminded to conduct worm tests rather than wasting time and money unnecessarily drenching their stock. As the weather warms up, so does the life cycle of internal parasites of livestock.  The deadly Barbers Pole Worm (Haemonchus contortus) may have been quite idle over the winter months but with higher temperatures females will become active, laying up to 10,000 eggs per day.

Weaners are the main group to watch. Factors in sheep that can increase their susceptibility to worms include:
  • low body condition
  • pregnancy
  • lactation
  • age.  
Any situation where sheep are congregating in common areas will favour an increase in worm numbers. These include hand feeding, access to bore drains and swampy areas. Ideally, faeces should be collected 7-10 days before mustering for any management procedure, so if drenching is required handling is kept to a minimum.  

Worm test kits are available at Local Land Services and NSW Department of Primary Industry (DPI) offices and there is useful information online.  Contact your local DPI veterinarians for advice and assistance when checking for worms. 

Meat bait trials underway until November

A trial 1080 meat baiting program targeting feral pigs in the north and north-west of the Western Local region began at the end of July and will continue until November. 

The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority issued a permit to Local Land Services Western Region for the use of 1080 poison meat baits in the rangelands of the region last year.  This is the first and only permit of its kind in NSW and is aimed at addressing the significant damage that feral pigs are causing to primary producers and rangeland conservation areas.

The permit is valid to 30 June 2016 and allows trained Local Land Services biosecurity staff to evaluate the benefits of 1080 meat baits for controlling feral pigs. There will be field days later in the program to demonstrate the results.

The permit has been a significant step forward in the combat against the destruction caused by feral pigs, particularly in the north and north-west of NSW where pigs aren’t grain feeders so other solutions need to be considered.

Photo: Feral pigs caught on camera investigating baits during the trial.

Pest animal training events

Drought-affected areas in the north of the region will be hosting training in wild dog trapping, pest ejector technology and remote sensor cameras. The aim of the workshops is to help landholders 
undertake successful trapping and use remote sensing cameras to help with the deployment of ejectors and traps in locations that will allow the best opportunity for controlling wild dogs that are not taking 1080 baits.

Two-day training courses will be held in these areas:

Broken Hill, 15-16 September, contact Grant Davis
White Cliffs, 18-19 September, contact John Hiscox
Tibooburra, 21-22 September, contact John Hiscox

Louth, 20-21 October, contact Col Betts
Tilpa, 22 - 23 October, contact Tim Wall
Emmdale, 26 – 27 October, 
contact Tim Wall
Ivanhoe, 29 - 30 October, contact Tim Wall
Cobar, 2 - 3 November, contact Robynne Wells-Budd

Wanaaring, 23 - 24 November, contact Allan Neilsen
Bourke, 26 - 27 November, contact Fred Miller 

Weilmoringle, 30 November - 1 December, contact Col Betts

Register by 4 September for spring wild dog control program

Landholders can register now to be involved in the spring wild dog control program. Programs will be delivered during October. To be included in this program register with your local Biosecurity Officer or via your local Landcare of pest management group by 4 September.

A number of Landcare and pest management groups have already signed up for the program. Contact your local Biosecurity Officer to find out if there's a group near you.

BalranaldLee Mannix  P: 03 5020 1691   M: 0429 614 953
Alan Neilsen  P: 02 68708628    M: 0428 722 045
BrewarrinaColin Betts   P: 02 6839 2047   M: 0429 392 047
Broken HillGrant Davis  P: 08 8087 3378   M: 0400 873 378
CobarRobynne Wells-Budd  P: 02 6836 2081   M: 0439 596 614
HillstonAndrew McKinnon  P: 02 6967 2507   M: 0428 671 370
TibooburraJohn Hiscox  P: 08 8091 3306   M: 0429 913 425
WanaaringFred Miller   P: 02 6874 7749   M: 0428 362 073
Wentworth:  Joe Dowling   P: 03 5027 3064   M: 0427 200 820
Wilcannia: Tim Wall  P: 08 8091 5070   M: 0428 915 070

Investigations ongoing into pelican deaths at Bourke

Investigations are ongoing into the deaths of several pelicans at Bourke over a six-week period during June and July. The NSW Department of Primary Industries veterinarian has taken samples from the dead pelicans for testing.

So far, the important exotic diseases Avian Influenza and Newcastle Disease have been ruled out as causes of death. Laboratory testing and clinical signs have also ruled out botulism.

The pelicans were found dead in the one-kilometre stretch of the river where the Jandra paddleboat operates twice daily during the tourist season. There have been no reports of dead fish or other river birds at this stage.

The weather was unusually cold over this period which may have contributed to the losses. Whilst the deaths are a distressing site for locals and tourists, numbers are low when compared to the healthy birds inhabiting that stretch of the river. While there have not been any further reports of bird deaths, early reporting is encouraged as samples from sick or freshly dead pelicans are important for establishing a diagnosis.

Events near you

Waratah pest exclusion fencing demonstration day 

John and Rana Manns of Dijoe, near Cobar, will host a demonstration day at their property as part of the pest exclusion fencing demonstration program. Waratah funded local contractor, Neville Prince to erect 2km of fencing at Dijoe property as part of the program, while Westonfence provided weston droppers.

This day is a chance to learn about fencing options as well as other pest animal management and monitoring measures. Daniel Crisp from Waratah will be there, as well as local suppliers, who can discuss costings, products, services and even finance options.

"Dijoe", 60km north of Cobar on the Kidman Way
Wednesday 26 August 2015
9am to 2pm

RSVP: email Kerry Johnson or phone 02 6836 1575 

Visit us at Wentworth Show

Some of our team will be on hand to talk to customers at the 130th annual Wentworth Show on Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 August at the Wentworth Showgrounds. The show promises many of the popular, traditional attractions that keep the crowds coming back as well as a few new attractions to maintain the show's tradition of the best in country entertainment.

In the Local Land Services tent there will be a TGP fencing display and information about training and funding opportunities. Download the  program and admission prices website.

Landcare conference

From the Ground Up is the theme of the 2015 NSW LLS & Landcare Conference, which will be held in Orange from 1 to 3 September. This conference is the premier event to showcase sustainability, Landcare and volunteering across NSW and includes the annual Landcare Muster and the NSW State Landcare Awards. Don’t miss this chance to gather with around 300 people from Landcare and community groups, farmers, Aboriginal groups, industry and government representatives from across NSW and Australia.  To find our more and register online, visit NSW Landcare Conference.

Land and stock returns due 31 August

You should have counted stock on your property for your annual land and stock return, which is due to be lodged by 31 August. Lodging online is easy to and nil returns are important too. If you don't lodge a return, an animal health rate and meat industry levy will be added to your 2016 rates notice.

This is essentially a census for livestock to be completed on 30 June by all land managers who pay Local Land Services rates or have a Property Identification Code.  All stock six months or older on the property as of June 30 should be counted, regardless of whether they belong to the landholder, are agisted or are on the property for any other reason. Pigs of any age should be counted as well as flocks of 100 or more poultry. To find our more, visit our website.


Life and light in the western region photos

Calling all amateur photographers - we are looking for your photos of the Western Local Region. Entries are open until 31 October in the 2015 Life and Light in the Western Region photo competition. 

Western Landcare NSW is coordinating the competition and this year's theme is Our Land - My Home. There are nine categories, all with cash prizes. 

Follow Western Landcare NSW and Local Land Services Western Region on Facebook for all the details and to vote for the People's Choice award. Read the entry conditions and download the entry form online.

Photo: Umbrellas by Hayden Nicholson of St John's Primary School in Cobar, the 2014 winning entry in the Primary Student category.

Training, resources and opportunities

Rangelands Carbon Conference 

There are new carbon farming methods emerging all the time that can be used to participate in Australia's Emissions Reduction Fund. Some people are earning extra income from carbon projects which has given them the ability to invest in infrastructure and innovation - improving their capacity and long-term viability.  

Make sure you save the date to attend the Rangelands Carbon Conference in Cobar on 28 and 29 October where you can meet representatives from the Department of Environment, the Clean Energy Regulator and others. It will be a chance to learn the most up to date information about the carbon market and whether there are opportunities for you. 
To find out more, talk to Fiona Harris in the Bourke office.

NRM Spatial Hub workshops

Planning is now underway for Regional Extension Workshops for the NRM Spatial Hub project.

One-on-one sessions will be held on the demonstration properties, as well as extension workshops in our region. These workshops will involve “train the trainer” sessions in the On-line Property Planning and Information System (OPPIS) with regional extension staff, as well as sessions with property owners and managers.

The workshops will also provide the opportunity for demonstration properties to tell their stories and provide important feedback on the future development of the Spatial Hub project. Property mapping on the 11 properties taking part in NSW is now completed and has been entered into OPPIS. Email the Spatial Hub team or visit the Hub online for more information.

BioHub may help find a use for woody weeds

Regional Development Australia (RDA) Orana is managing a pre-feasibility study to explore the need, benefit and viability of a BioHub network in the Orana region. A BioHub is a fixed or mobile processing centre that would process excess organic material into valuable products and add value to the biomass wastes and by-products of local primary industries. 

Contributors to the project to date include:
  • RDA Orana 
  • Renewed Carbon 
  • Cobar Shire Council
  • Dubbo City Council
  • Transforce
  • NSW Office of Environment and Heritage.
A BioHub is expected to improve the economic viability of many farming enterprises, as well as supporting regional investment and employment. The project is particularly interested in exploring the INS/woody weed materials in the Peneplain region, centred on Cobar.

The consultants engaged by RDA are keen to discuss this project with landholders, lessees and managers in this region, including:
  • Those with scrubbed up properties, but who have not yet negotiated a PVP
  • Those with approved, but not yet implemented PVPs
  • Those with fully or partially implemented PVPs who would value finding valuable markets for currently harvested biomass.
To find out more talk to Nicole Payne at RDA Orana on 02 6885 1488 or Mark Glover at Eco Waste on 0417 224 919.

Land degradation research study

Landholders and land managers are invited to take part in a research study about land degradation and sustainable land management in the western region. 

Emily Berry is a Masters research student at the University of NSW and is interested in the ways that land management decisions are discussed at international and national levels, and whether these discussions are relevant for local people who actually make the decisions on the ground. The focus of her thesis is the Broken Hill, White Cliffs and Menindee regions and all types of land managers – including those involved in agriculture, mining, conservation and traditional land uses.

If you’re interested in having your say, Emily is planning interviews during October to talk about land trends in the area and strategies to improve land quality. She is also keen to discuss the issues that are important to you and what you would most want and need from various levels of government to help you deal with them.

Email Emily or phone 0432 174 850 to become involved.

Science shows the investment is paying off

A video released during NAIDOC Week has highlighted the benefits of on-ground investments in protecting Aboriginal sites and improving the quality of the environment in the Willandra Lakes Region World Heritage Area.

The video, titled Sustaining Willandra: Connecting Country, Culture and Science, highlights the work by scientists from NSW Office of Environment and Heritage who are trialling a collaborative approach to landscape management for Local Land Services Western Region.

The results show that efforts to manage the impacts of rabbits and soil erosion and protect Aboriginal sites within the World Heritage Area are paying off with the landscape recovering well.

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Local Land Services Western Region
Freecall: 1300 795 299