Learn about up coming Western Local Land Services events and activities here.
View this email in your browser

Western region update

April 2015


Positive start for new advisory groups

We are looking for more members for our Far West Local Community Advisory Group. Interested landholders or community members are invited to consider submitting an expression of interest to join the group.  The members of all three groups met in Broken Hill late last month and started off in a very positive fashion. 

The Local Community Advisory Groups are:
1. Far West (Broken Hill, Tibooburra and Wilcannia) - Louise Turner (Chair), White Cliffs
2. Cobar, Bourke and Brewarrina - Stuart Mosely (Chair), Cobar
3. Balranald, Wentworth, Hillston and Ivanhoe - Angus Whyte (Chair), Wentworth
To find out more about what's involved or express you interest in being part of the Far West Local Community Advisory Group, contact Andrew Hull on 02 6870 8624.

Aboriginal advisory groups established

Our three new Aboriginal Community Advisory Groups also met for the first time this month.  They have shown enthusiasm for their role in providing advice to the Western Local Board.
These groups represent:  
Broken Hill, Tibooburra and Wilcannia; Cobar, Bourke and Brewarrina; and Balranald, Wentworth, Hillston and Ivanhoe.

To find out more about the Aboriginal Community Advisory Group in your area, contact Blackie Gordon on 0428 607 536, Ronni O'Donnell  0409 334 970 or Andrew Hull on 02 6870 8624.

Animal management issues

Follow your plan and think with your head, not your heart

With a warmer than normal autumn forecast and a low chance of rain, landholders have been urged to review their farm plans to prepare for the months ahead. 

Following an agreed plan with key milestones and deadlines means you can make decisions that are economically sound and not based on emotions at the time, particularly when it comes to destocking or moving livestockThis also means you don't leave your decisions until it's too late and you have run out of options.

Some suggestions:
  • Look at the options for stock levels as the condition of some stock will quickly decline 
  • Consider if you need to destock and which stock you may move or sell
  • If buying in feed is part of your forward planning, start investigating the local availability of feed
  • Be realistic when considering agistment and take into account all the costs, including transport
  • Check what other stock is on a property that is offering agistment so you know what the biosecurity risks are when you plan to return to the region
  • If your are planning or have already undertaken autumn joining, make sure you have adequate nutrition to handle the needs of ewes during late pregnancy and early lactation.
Swill feeding warning
Most landholders in the Western Local Region area are aware that there are two types of pigs – feral and domestic. Feral pigs are classified as pest animals and they cannot be kept as pets or grown out to eat for Sunday lunch unless you have a permit. Pigs are wonderful carriers and multipliers of diseases, some of which can be transferred to humans. Domestic pigs can be kept but they must be recorded under stock numbers on your annual Stock and Land Return. 

Swill feeding is banned in Australia. This is the practice of feeding food waste to pigs. Some food wastes are classified as prohibited substances and must not be fed to pigs. Prohibited substances include meat, meat products and any food that has been in contact with meat.  

The foot and mouth disease outbreak in the UK in 2001 was a result of swill feeding. A similar outbreak in Australia would be catastrophic to our primary industries and would be extremely difficult to control due to the massive population of feral pigs. Download this fact sheet for more information.

Western Local Land Management Awards

Our staff can help you if you are interested in nominating for this year's Western Local Land Management Awards. 

Groups and individual landholders, including schools, community groups and farming systems organisations, are welcome to apply. Winners from the Western Local Region will be entered into the State Landcare Awards.

Applications close on Monday 20 April. Visit our website
 or phone your local office for details.

There are five categories in this year’s awards:
  1. Individual land carer 
  2. Innovation in sustainable farm practices
  3. Innovative community group 
  4. Indigenous land management 
  5. Junior land care team.
Download the application form

Friend a farmer initiative

Local Land Services Western Region Livestock Officer, Amy Gunn knows a thing or two about life on the land that she is keen to share with city folk. Amy and her husband, Sam manage his family's property, "Sunset", 120km north-west of Condobolin.

In a bid to break down some of the barriers between the city and the country, Amy established the Friend a Farmer Initiative on Facebook earlier this year. The concept has proven so popular, it now has more than 4,500 followers on Facebook! If you would like to be part of a movement to help create a better understanding and encourage people from non-farming backgrounds to meet farming families and become more familiar with the facts about Australian agriculture, visit Facebook and take part in the discussion.

While you're there, make sure to like the new Local Land Services Western Region Facebook page. It's an easy place to keep up to date with what's happening in our region.


Events in our area

Pooncarie Field Day

A highlight of this year's Pooncarie Field Day will be guest speaker Catherine Marriott, who will present workshops on communication and social media. Catherine was named WA's 2012 Rural Woman of the Year and is highly recognised for her global agribusiness experience and as an expert commentator on Australian rural industries.

Thanks to the support of Local Land Services Western Region, Mallee CMA, Mallee Sustainable Farming and Sunraysia Rural Counselling Service, you have the opportunity to jump on a bus from Mildura and enjoy a great day at the Pooncarie Field Day for just $30, including both workshops. Local residents and those already attending the field day can register for the workshops for free.

Saturday 2 May
Communication Workshop 10.30am
Social Media Workshop 1pm
Bus picks up at Mildura, Merbein and Wentworth
Register online
Contact Kaye Gottschutzke for more information (03) 5021 9409.

Weedwise smartphone app 

The NSW Department of Primary Industries has released a Weedwise Smartphone App. The free app is for iPhone and iPad and is available on the iTunes App Store. It's also available for Android Smartphones on Google play. 

The app provides photos and information on weed profiles and legal requirements under the Noxious Weeds Act 1993, including registered herbicide options previously published in the Noxious and Environmental Weed Control Handbook for over 300 noxious and environmental weeds in NSW. Weed professionals will be able to share information with landholders and can report on noxious weeds using the app.

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.

Local Land Services Western Region
Freecall: 1300 795 299