Russel Harland Memorial Scholarship now open!

The Russel Harland Memorial Scholarship is awarded to a tertiary student who displays strong personal, community and educational commitment to rural or regional areas, with particular reference to the Western region of NSW.

The scholarship is awarded to assist the student to advance their educational qualifications and personal skills so that they can contribute to future biosecurity, agricultural and natural resource management outcomes and build upon the expertise within the community of the Western region.

The scholarship will provide:

  • A one-off amount of $5,000 which will be paid in two instalments 
  • four weeks of paid work
  • one year guaranteed field officer position. 
Eligible students will be approaching their final year of study and EOIs are due by Friday, 16 August.

People interested in applying are asked to read the guidelines prior to submitting their application. 
If you have any questions about the scholarship, contact Senior Land Services Officer, Kaye Gottschutzke on (03) 5021 9409 or email

Relevant courses must be of a Bachelor level and may include, but are not limited to; Agriculture (Ag Science, Rural Science, Animal Science, Agribusiness, Ag Economics), Veterinary Science, Emergency Response and Management, Natural Resource Management, Aboriginal Cultural Heritage and GIS and remote sensing.

Funding now available through new drought package

From 1 July, NSW farmers and rural communities impacted by the ongoing drought have had access to additional funding courtesy of the NSW Government's new drought assistance package.

The Emergency Drought Relief package includes increased transport subsidies, more flexible conditions on drought assistance and extra cash for drought-proofing infrastructure, see below:
  • $350 million to boost the Farm Innovation Fund, with loans up to $1 million
  • $70 million for transport subsidies (stock, fodder, water)
  • $50 million to waive LLS rates for 2020
  • $30 million to waive fixed charges for NSW water licenses
  • $15 million for emergency water carting
  • $10 million to waive interest charges for Farm Innovation Fund loans. 
For further information about these and other drought support measures, visit the DroughtHub website

The NSW Government is continuing to support regional communities, businesses and workers experiencing the flow-on effects of the drought through a new regional economic stimulus package. 

Great numbers at Managing Outback Floodplains event at Tilpa

At the end of June, just over 30 people attended the Managing Outback Floodplains event at Tilpa where they heard from three specialist presenters and took in a field trip on Kallara Station (owned by Justin and Julie McClure) to inspect works that had been undertaken several years ago. 

Fiona Lander, "Marra" near Wilcannia, was one of the many landholders who spoke positively about the day. 

"I found it very worthwhile, particularly on the back of some recent rainfall," Fiona said. 

"It's great to see what others have done, what has worked well and potentially what they would do differently. It's great everyone is so open and happy to share their experiences. 

"Considering the season we're having some great improvements have been made." 

If you'd like further information on this workshop or rangeland rehabilitation works in general, contact Senior Land Services Officer, Paul Theakston on 0428 259 231 or email.  

Fiona Lander 'Marra', Mog Davies 'Kalyanka' and Hugh Pringle at the workshop. Hugh was one of the presenters and is a rangeland ecologist. This workshop was supported through funding from the Australian Government's National Landcare Program. 

Search in a haystack produces some needles! 

Earlier this year, we teamed up with Birdlife Australia to conduct surveys in the White Cliffs region to confirm the presence of Grey Range Thick-billed Grasswrens. 

The Grey Range Thick-billed Grasswren has been identified as one of the 20 Australian birds most likely to go extinct in the next 20 years. 

Thick-billed Grasswrens are reputedly the least vocal of all the grasswrens, and this, combined with their often furtive nature, makes them rather difficult to find across the arid shrublands they inhabit. 

When this is added to their rarity, it makes conducting surveys for them difficult in the extreme. 

Nevertheless, despite these hurdles, a small team of scientists, guided by the landholder’s observations, were successful in finding some grasswrens.

Over a five day period, the scientists detected grasswrens in six of the seven sites where the landholders had reported seeing the birds, as well as an additional site that the scientists thought looked ‘promising’. 

Results from these surveys, including sightings and vegetation structure assessments, will inform future surveys.

For more information contact Senior Land Services Officer, Brian Dohnt on 0455 901 258 or email.

This project was coordinated by Western LLS in conjunction with BirdLife Australia, through Catchment Action NSW funding, and worked closely with local landholders in the region. Pictured from left are three of the scientists that carried out the surveys with Western LLS' Paul Theakston. 

Great outcomes achieved in Willandra Lakes as the work continues

Over the past year, we have been working with a number of stakeholders to tackle the ongoing threat that introduced rabbits pose to the values of the Willandra Lakes Region World Heritage Area and at the same time, reduce the impact that rabbits have on primary production in the Western region. 

Recently, project partners met to evaluate the progress and develop an adaptive rabbit management plan to coordinate management efforts within the group and share knowledge about past lessons.

So far, nearly 6,500 rabbit warrens across the region have been mapped and mechanical controls have been carried out on over 12,000 hectares.  

Community members wanting more information on this project should contact Western LLS Communities Team Leader, Ben Slingsby on 0409 334 970 or email.

Project partners include the Willandra Landholders Alliance, Western Landcare NSW and the NSW National Parks and Wildlife World Heritage team. This project is supported through funding from the Australian Government's National Landcare Program. Image: Leanne Mitchell. 

Considerations for pulse crops in low rainfall areas

Earlier this month, a number of our staff attended a Grains Research Development Corporation (GRDC) producer forum and Mallee Sustainable Farms pulse check meeting. 

There was some great knowledge shared regarding the factors that are influencing cropping producers in low rainfall areas. 

Our Land Services Officer, Tanisha Shields has developed a one-page fact sheet which outlines some of the main takeaways for landholders from these events.
For further information, contact Tanisha on 0447 642 131 or email

Tanisha and other staff members such as Senior Land Services Officer, Gregory Moulds (pointing in pic during field inspection) will be applying the latest knowledge with croppers in the Western region. 

Follow up aerial shoot in the Western Riverina culls 1,649 pest animals

After eradicating more than 5,600 pest animals, including 4,750 pigs, in an extensive aerial shoot last year, a follow up aerial shoot in the Western Riverina has resulted in 1,649 pest animals being removed from the landscape. 

The purpose of the follow up shoot was to keep populations down and beat the rate of production.

Comparing property data, there has been a 90 per cent reduction in pigs over the past six months. Data is collected annually and a drone was flown over priority properties a month before this shoot to ensure areas with high densities of feral pigs were targeted. 

For more information on pest animal management, contact your nearest LLS office on 1300 795 299. 
This program was coordinated by LLS and involved the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, local community groups and landholders. Funding: 2018 Pest and Weed Drought Funding program. 

Time to lodge your Annual Land and Stock Returns

All landholders should have by now received their Annual Land and Stock Returns (ALSR). 

ALSR information helps LLS protect NSW against pests, diseases and environmental threats and is invaluable in the event of an emergency or a biosecurity event such as a pest or disease outbreak. 

The ALSR is essentially a 'farm census' with all stock six months or older on your property as of 30 June to be counted. Pigs of any age should be counted, as well as flocks of 100 or more poultry. 

It is important landholders lodge an ALSR, even if they are a nil return. Returns must be lodged by 31 August. 

All the information was included in the mailout and you can visit the
ALSR section
on our website. 

ALSR help to keep Australia's markets open and maintain its 'clean and green' reputation. 

An update from the Kangaroo Management Taskforce 

The Kangaroo Management Taskforce (KMT) has been liaising with ecologists and agencies in other states and developed an initiative aimed at improving national approaches to kangaroo management.

This project involves presenting at two national conferences, bringing together leading scientists to discuss the issues associated with kangaroo management as well as ideas and opportunities for reform. 

The KMT is sponsoring the first symposium which will be held on the final day of the Australian Rangeland Society Biennial Conference in Canberra, Thursday 5 September. Day tickets start at $250.

A second symposium will be held as part of the
 Ecological Society of Australia Conference in Launceston in November 2019.

Papers from the two conferences will also form the basis of a special Kangaroo Management edition of
 Ecological Management and Restoration in addition to a joint Position Statement from Concerned Scientists with key messages and recommendations for politicians and policy makers.  

For further information on kangaroo management in the Western region, contact Western LLS Team Leader of Kangaroo Management, Fiona Garland on 0467 731 824.

The Kangaroo Management Taskforce, which was formed in 2016 and consists of representatives from nine key stakholder groups including relevant agencies, animal welfare organisations, Aboriginal communities, landholders and the kangaroo industry, acts as an advisory to Western LLS. 
Opportunities for rural and Aboriginal communities  

There is currently some great opportunities for landholders and community members to receive funding support for suitable projects. 

Protecting our Places 

The Protecting our Places program encourages and empowers Aboriginal communities to protect, conserve and restore landscapes and waterways that important to them. 

Grants are available for up to $10,000 for planning and $50,000 for on-ground works. 

For further information click here and the closing date is 26 August. 

Strengthening Rural Communities 

The Strengthening Rural Communities (SRC) program aims to give the thousands of small rural, regional and remote communities across Australia an opportunity to apply for funding that can support broad community needs. 

Grants of up to $25,000 are available and must demonstrate a focus on one of the below activities:
  • building community resilience 
  • developing organisational resilience and capacity
  • enhancing environmental sustainability 
  • fostering cultural vibrancy
  • lifelong learning and education
  • economic strength
  • improving community health and social well-being. 
For further information click here and the closing date is 24 September. 

Dates for the diary

National Carbon Farming conference & expo  (Albury)
What: The theme for this year's conference and expo is "It's Time". Time for farmers to understand how to access the carbon market, time for innovations to come forward, time to stand up and shout "Farmers are the heroes of climate action."
When and where: 
Albury, 5 - 8 August
More info: Visit the conference and expo website. 
Australian Rangeland Society conference (Canberra)
What: The Australian Rangeland Society (ARS) is an independent and non-aligned association connecting people who care about improving sustainable management of natural resource, life and business in the rangelands. Established 42 years ago, the ARS is returning to Canberra for its 20th biennial conference. 
When and where: 
Canberra, 2-5 September. 
More info: Visit the conference website.

2019 NSW Landcare and Local Land Services conference (Broken Hill)
What: This three day event will see some of the most passionate, innovative and engaging people from around Australia make their way to the far west. Charlie Arnott is confirmed as the keynote speaker, Sara Storer will be rocking the Silverton Pub and four amazing field trips into the outback are on offer. 
When and where: 
Broken Hill, 22-24 October. Registration is now open. 
More info: Visit the conference website or contact Conference Manager, Bradley Hayden on 0412 461 392.
Keep Western LLS updated with your details

If you have changed your address, phone number, e-mail address or recently sold your property then we want to hear from you. 

Please advise us of any change to your details via email or by calling one of our friendly Customer Service Officers:
  • Lauren Standen (Balranald/Hillston regions) on (03) 5020 1691
  • Mandy McKay (Broken Hill/Wilcannia/Tibooburra region) on (08) 8087 3378
  • Meredith Brands (Cobar/Brewarrina/Bourke/Wanaaring regions) on (02) 6836 2081 
  • Kristie Scott (Buronga/Wentworth regions) on (03) 5021 9400.
We can also assist you with:
  • information about property transfers
  • applying for new Property Identification Codes (PICs)
  • changing PIC managership 
  • applying for brands marks and routine stock movement permits 
  • assisting with Annual Land and Stock Returns.
Further information can be found on our website by clicking here.
Until next time...

Thanks for reading our July newsletter, please hit reply or contact your local Western LLS office for further information on any of the items.

Please forward this newsletter onto anyone who would benefit or enjoy seeing what has been happening in the Western region.
We welcome your feedback about this newsletter.  Please feel free to pass it on to anyone you think may be interested. 
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Western Local Land Services 
Freecall: 1300 795 299

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