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February 2016


In this issue:
 

Animal management issues

 
Photosensitisation in flocks

DPI vets are encouraging graziers to be alert for signs of photosensitisation in their sheep flocks, following confirmation of this condition in various parts of our region.

 
Photosensitiation occurs when sheep eat certain toxic plants that cause their skin to become highly allergic to bright sunlight, resulting in signs such as drooped ears and swelling around the head.

The only way to manage it is to remove the flock from the paddock where the trouble is occurring and put them in a darkened shed or shady paddock.

Any graziers that suspect their flock may be affected by photosensitisation should contact their nearest vet for an accurate diagnosis.

For more information about photosensitisation, read the DPI Prime Fact.


Australian Bat Lyssavirus

Australian Bat Lyssavirus (ABL) was confirmed in four grey headed flying foxes on the Central Coast of NSW in late November. This is the biggest cluster of cases yet experienced in NSW. These cases provide a timely reminder that all people who handle bats, particularly vets and their staff should be vaccinated against rabies.

ABL is from the same family of viruses as rabies and is believed to infect all species of Australian bats from flying foxes to micro bats. Bats can fly very large distances so it is highly likely that bats in the west can be infected with ABL.

For more information on ABL and what you should do if you find sick or injured bats read the DPI Prime Fact 

New projects


Curbing the spread of mesquite and cactus

Mesquite and cactus are a significant concern for land managers in the western region. This month we’re commencing a control program to tackle these weeds of national significance in the Broken Hill-Wilcannia area. This will include:
  • On-ground weed spraying
  • Mapping of infestations
  • Training and support for land manager to improve their capacity to manage infestations.

If you would like to know more about the program or how to control other weeds of national significance, contact Mitch Plumbe on 0408 241 200 or mitchell.plumbe@lls.nsw.gov.au.

Stopping predators in their tracks

Over the last few weeks we’ve been planning our 2016 predator program, which is targeting wild dogs, foxes and feral cats. The aerial baiting component is scheduled to commence in mid-March, with ground baiting to follow soon afterwards. We will be notifying landholders whose properties overlap with the flight path so they can coordinate their own baiting programs to coincide with ours.

The most effective way to effectively control predators is to work collaboratively as a group. There are already some pest groups established in the western region which are making great progress. If you’re interested in joining a group or establishing a new group, please get in touch with the staff in one of our offices. http://western.lls.nsw.gov.au/our-region/contact-us


Expansion of the Resilient Landscapes Project

The Rotary Club of Sydney Cove has committed additional funds to Soils for Life to expand the successful Western Division Resilient Landscapes Project Program which is run in conjunction with Local Land Services Western Region. The funding will enable the mentoring of two new participants.

The program aims to help farmers to implement new practices such as total grazing pressure management or rotational grazing on their properties to minimize the impact of drought on production and landscape health. Mentoring helps landholders change practices from their traditional methods by reducing the risks that may be associated with adopting new management.

The new participants will be mentored by landholders such as Ashley and Carolyn McMurtie of Gilgunnia Station near Cobar and Gus and Kelly Whyte of Wyndam Station near Wentworth. These mentors have successfully been through the process of changing their practices and can offer guidance on how to best tackle the process.

For more information about the Mentoring Program, contact Gemma Turnbull, gemma.turnbull@lls.nsw.gov.au or Russell Grant, Russell.grant@lls.nsw.gov.au.

 

Funding opportunities


2016 Incentives Program is open for applications

Funding is now available to manage total grazing pressure more effectively on your property. The grants are available on a co-contribution basis and can be used to fence off paddocks so you have greater control of unmanaged animals such as goats. There is also funding to better manage grazing in riparian areas along waterways and around wetlands to better protect these important habitats and improve water quality.

We’re hosting a suite of information sessions across the region up until 16 March to explain the grants in more detail and to help you get started with your application.  To find out when a session is taking place near you, or to download the guidelines and conditions, visit western.lls.nsw.gov.au/info/grants.

Applications close at 5pm AEST Thursday 24 March.

Changes to the Western Region Small Land Management Grants Program

We’ve listened to your feedback on the Western Region Small Land Management Grants Program and we’re introducing a number of changes over the coming weeks. These changes are as follows:

  • The amount of funding you can apply for under the pest animal, weeds, site protection and conservation farming categories has increased to $10,000.
  • Individuals can apply for up to $20,000 per year, however the individual category limits still apply
  • Groups may apply for up to $50,000 per calendar year, however the individual category limits still apply.
  • The weeds category has been expanded to include noxious weeds.

 
For more information contact one of our officers and visit our website

Upcoming events and training opportunities


2016 incentives Program information sessions

We’re hosting workshops at various locations across the region to explain the 2016 funding round in more detail and to help you get started on your application. RSVP to Kerry Wood (02) 6836 1575. For more details visit our website.

Dates and locations:
1 March – Menindee
3 March – Nullogoola” via Cobar
3 March – Broken Hill
4 March – Mt Hope
8 March –Tibooburra
8 March – Goodooga
9 March – Wanaaring
9 March – Packsaddle
15 March – White Cliffs
16 March – “Charlton” via Brewarrina
 

 Total Grazing Pressure workshops

These two-day workshops will address key principles of tactical grazing management including pasture and livestock production and planning for changing seasonal conditions. Applicants to the 2016 Incentive Program are encouraged to attend, however please note that places are limited.  RSVP to Kerry Wood (02) 6836 1575.

Dates and locations:
Pooncarie – 15-16 April
Ivanhoe – 18-19 April
Cobar – 27-28 April
Brewarrina – 30 April - 1 May.


2016 Agfair

We’re hosting a stand at the 2016 Agfair and will be conducting short information and training sessions on a range biosecurity issues. More details will be available shortly on our website

Dates and location:
6-7 May – 2016, Broken Hill

Meet our staff

Shae Brennan, Land Services Officer

Shae is based in our Hillston Office and commenced working with us in September last year.
 
What is your area of expertise?

Natural Resource Management. 
 
What do you enjoy about your role with Local Land Services Western Region?

My job as a Land Service Officer with Local Land Services has provided me with the opportunity to embrace the challenge of working in a new unfamiliar region of the state where I am able to work on natural resource management issues with the assistance of other natural resource management agencies and landholders. I enjoy engaging with landholders and being able to travel and learn about the Western region. 
 
Where did you work prior to joining us? 

Before working with Local Land Services, I worked at Parks Victoria in Mount Beauty in Victoria’s alpine region of the state. I was with Parks Victoria for 18 months and before that I was undertaking a university degree in Environmental Science and Management. 

 

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