Get up-to-date with what has been, is and will be happening around the Western region. 
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July 2017

Be a voice for your area and nominate to join a Community Advisory Groups 

Only a number of days remain for landholders and community members that are passionate about the Western region to nominate for a position that will work with the Western Local Board and Western Local Land Services to help develop and deliver vital services through the Western region. 

Expressions of Interest (EOI) are being sought from interested parties that want to make a difference and join a Western Local Board Local Community Advisory Group (LCAG). 

Their purpose will be to raise issues at regular meetings and identify opportunities for the Board and Western Local Land Services to consider that will be of benefit for landholders and their communities. 

In total, there will be three LCAGs across the Western region formed through geographical locations, loosely being:
  • Balranald, Wentworth and Hillston in the south 
  • Broken Hill and unincorporated in the west
  • Bourke and Cobar in the east. 
Community Advisory Groups are not new having been established in 2015. The current chairs of the three LCAGs in Gus Whyte, Louise Turner and Stuart Mosely have all recommitted for a further year. 

EOIs are due by 21 July and can be found by clicking here, as can the Terms of Reference which it is advised people read beforehand, and further information. 

LCAG members work closely with landholders, the Western Local Board and Western Local Land Services to ensure their local area is getting the services and support it requires. 

On-farm biosecurity workshop series coming to a location near you

Western Local Land Services District Veterinarians, Dr Sophie Hemley and Dr Charlotte Cavanagh. 

Over the past few weeks, we have both fielded many calls from concerned landholders regarding biosecurity plans for their properties.

This has mainly been brought about following the confusion surrounding the transitional arrangements for Johne's disease.

Transitional arrangements for Johne's disease ended on 30 June 2017.

While no extension to the 30 June deadline was granted by Animal Health Australia, cattle producers effectively have until 1 October 2017, which is when the Livestock Production Assurance accreditation is due, to have a biosecurity plan in place.  

With this in mind, we are organising workshops to take place where landholders that attend will be able to complete a biosecurity plan for their properties. 

These workshops are expected to run from Monday, 4 September for two weeks throughout the Western region. 

Once dates and locations are finalised, we will be in contact with landholders and we'd encourage you to attend. 

Completing a biosecurity plan can also be done online through the Animal Health Australia and Livestock Biosecurity Network websites.

If you are looking for further information on the workshops, please contact Biosecurity Officer, Lisa Caswell on 0428 722 045 and as always if you have any animal health questions please contact us on:

  • Charlotte Cavanagh 0429 773 021
  • Sophie Hemley 0417 248 135.

2017 Life and Light Photo Competition winners to be announced next month

An incredible 185 photos were entered in the 2017 Life and Light Photo Competition, with the quality and diversity of images being among the best that have been entered for a number of years. 

Over a two month period, amateur photographers captured some amazing images that focused on the theme of "healthy landscapes - healthy food"

These photos have now been judged with the winners to be announced at the Western Landcare Forum dinner on Friday 4 August.

To view the images that were entered in this year's competition click here


"Watching Over" has been entered in the secondary student colour category.

Landholders benefit from erosion control workshop series

A series of erosion control workshops that were organised by Western Local Land Services have been positively received by landholders who were looking to increase their knowledge of track maintenance and erosion control.

The workshops, which were held at White Leeds Station in Broken Hill, Anabranch Hall via Wentworth and Derrina Station at Louth on 4, 7 and 10 July, were presented by Soil Save trainer, Darryl Hill who has previously provided training within the Western region.

The workshops helped to reinforce the importance of reducing erosion on your property as it can have a number of benefits, including:

  • reinstating natural water flows
  • the retention of fertile top soil
  • reducing sedimentation and improving water quality
  • water erosion avoidance and management. 
Following the success of these events, further workshops are being developed for later in the year. 

If you are interested in hosting a workshop or having one in your area, contact our Cobar office on (02) 6836 1575.

Soil Save trainer Darryl Hill (blue shirt, white cap) at the White Leeds Station workshop at Broken Hill. 

Landholders informed how to use plants to promote positive grazing outcomes

Two recent plant identification workshops held across the Western region have highlighted the importance of maintaining groundcover and controlling invasive native scrub.

The workshops, which were held at “Wynwood Station” near Mount Hope and the Australian Inland Botanic Gardens in Buronga, were attended by nearly 40 landholders and community members who wanted to learn more about native plants and share their experiences amongst themselves.

A number of important messages were delivered at both workshops, including how indicator species such as perennial grasses can be used as a tool to assist with your grazing decisions.

Both workshops included paddock walks which allowed attendees to gain first-hand experience of what to look for and get a feel for how things might look in the future on their properties. 

Western Local Land Services plans to host more events later in the year so if you're interested in hosting or having plant identification workshop in your area contact Kaye Gottschutzke in our Buronga office on (03) 5021 9409. 

A drone image from the workshop at "Wynwood Station" near Mount Hope. Picture: Allan Vagg.

Cluster fencing project nearing the finish line in the Gilgunnia region

The Gilgunnia Cluster Fencing Project is nearing completion following another inspection in early July.

This project will see a total pest exclusion fence 210 km in length erected around the perimeter of 22 properties which will enclose approximately 177,000 hectares, creating a solid barrier to pest animal species in the Gilgunnia area. 

Local landholders who have been involved in the project and were present at the inspection spoke positively about the impact the cluster fence has already had on their properties. 

"I've been here for 21 years and it is the best improvement we have made to the place," Dave Worsnop of "Yarambie" said. 

"We pretty much noticed instant improvement which was very pleasing and we are really happy with how it has all gone."

Following the success of the cluster fence, Mr Worsnop and his neighbour Glenn Turner of "Penshurst" have committed to erecting a predator fence between their properties so they can gain further control over pest animals and grazing pressure.

"We are going to do 3.5 kilometres between our properties off our own bat," Mr Turner said.

"We want to do all the property within five years while I understand Dave wants to do his in the next year and a half.

"While it has been a big project it is such a valuable investment for all involved."

For more information about cluster fencing, contact Senior Land Services Office - Native Vegetation, Brian Dohnt on (02) 6836 1575.

Above from left are Jake Turner, Glenn Turner and Dave Worsnop while below from left is Calvin Reynolds, Isaiah Milson and Michael Mitchell. The Gilgunnia Fencing project was funded under the 2016 Pest and Weed Drought Funding. 

Landholders take the opportunity to inform Western Local Land Services 

 During June and July, landholders had the opportunity to take part in the 2017 Regional Landholder Survey which is a questionnaire designed to inform Western Local Land Services of what issues are of most importance to landholders in the Western region. 

The questionnaire focused on a wide range of topics and issues that relate to landholders and the results will help inform the way programs are delivered by Local Land Services. 

A similar survey was carried out in 2014 and the results from the 2017 survey will be compared against 2014 to gain an insight into the way the region has changed and what that means for services required in a range of areas. 

Western Local Land Services wants to thank all landholders and community members that completed the survey.

The results of the survey will be available later in the year.

Be Western Local Land Services' guest at the Australian Rangeland Conference 

Western Local Land Services is offering a number of landholders in the Western region the opportunity to attend the 19th Biennial Conference of the Australian Rangeland Society as their guest. 

The conference, which is being held in Port Augusta, South Australia from 25 to 28 September, will offer highly engaging topics, speakers and activities for attendees and would be well worth attending for any landholder looking to become more knowledgeable and hear new ideas about farming in the rangelands. 

Western Local Land Services will pay the full cost of admission to the conference ($700), while attendees will be required to pay their own travel, accommodation and general expenses. 

If you are interested in attending this conference, please contact Senior Land Services Officer - Agribusiness, Mitch Plumbe on (08) 8082 5204 or via email

The theme of the conference is "transition to transformation".  

Funding for riparian zones to be finalised in coming weeks

Landholders are set to be notified in the coming weeks of the outcome of their applications in the 2017 healthy and diverse wetlands and waterways program.

After receiving 18 expressions of interest (EOI) from landholders, Western Local Land Services received a total of 14 applications for funding, with four EOI not being followed through with for a variety of reasons.

The work undertaken in this program will ultimately lead to healthier riparian zones, which will provide several benefits to landholders and the environment, including: 
  • erosion control
  • flood and sediment control
  • high water quality 
  • creation of habitat and shading
  • natural filtration of runoff waters. 
For further information on this program, contact Team Leader - Land Services, Ben Slingsby on (03) 5021 9460.

Funding for the healthy and diverse waterways and wetlands program was provided through the National Landcare Programme and Catchment Action NSW. 

Annual Land and Stock Returns vital for market access

Landholders across the Western region who pay Local Land Services rates or have a Property Identification Code will have received their Annual Land and Stock (ALSR) in a bid to build a statewide picture of agriculture use and livestock numbers. 

ALSR are due to be lodged by 31 August in a process that is essential for ensuring that domestic and export livestock markets remain open for NSW producers. 

The returns are essentially a census for livestock on 30 June each year and include all stock six months of age or older, regardless of whether they belong to the landholder, are agisted or on the property for any other reason. Pigs of any age should be counted, as well as flocks of 100 or more poultry. 

Along with stock identification and traceability systems, the information is invaluable in the event of an emergency disease outbreak. 

You can lodge your ALSR online by clicking here or you can return it post it as per the instructions you received in the mail.

If you fail to lodge and ALSR by 31 August, an animal health rate and meat industry levy is automatically applied to your next year's rates notice. 

For more information click here, or contact your nearest Western Local Land Services office. 

NSW produce is free of many of the pests and diseases found in other parts of the world which is why your ALSR are so important as they help maintain this biosecurity. 

New biosecurity act in place to protect the Western region

On 1 July, the NSW Biosecurity Act 2015 came into effect, with the new Act replacing 14 outdated Acts with a modern, cohesive framework for protecting NSW from the threat of diseases, pests, weeds and other contaminants.

All landholders and community members are asked to make sure they’re aware of their general biosecurity duties under the new legislation.

The Act emphasises that biosecurity is a shared responsibility between the public and relevant organisations such as Western Local Land Services. 

The new framework looks to manage biosecurity risks through threat monitoring and management tools, emergency response powers and community education, rather than the old prescriptive regulatory approach.

If you'd like further information about the new Act, contact one of our Biosecurity Officers. 

Recordings of recent Western pastoral webinar series now available online

A great resource for all landholders covering a range of topics is currently available online.

The Western pastoral webinar series, that was organised by Western Local Land Services, Sheep Connect NSW and Meat and Livestock Australia, ran from 1 May to 28 June and covered the below topics:
  • merits of scanning in lean times
  • sheep market overview
  • managing sheep nutrition in pastoral areas
  • lamb survival - wet and dry at lamb marking
  • wool market overview.
To listen to these webinar recordings click here

Another webinar focusing on ram preparation will be held in early Spring. Keep an eye on the Western Local Land Services website for further information. 

Western Landcare Forum - registrations due this Friday!

Registrations for the 2017 Western Landcare Forum must be made by this Friday, 21 July

The forum, which will be held in Broken Hill on 4 and 5 August, is open to everyone, with all landholders, agribusinesses and other stakeholders encouraged to attend.  

The theme for this year’s forum is “healthy landscapes – healthy food” and will focus on the unique opportunities that rangeland environments in the Western region provide for producing beautiful food and explore opportunities for marketing and potentially building a regional profile.

The forum will include an exciting line-up of speakers, workshops, Q&A panels and trade stands. 

This event is proudly supported by Western Local Land Services and NSW Department of Primary Industries.

For more information on the forum and to register
click here.  

This image titled "Rise and Shine" was entered in the 2017 Life and Light Photo Competition that also had the theme of "healthy landscapes - healthy food". 

Free quad bike safety training for landholders 

In great news for landholders, free quad bike training is now available under the NSW Quad Bike Safety Improvement Program.

While landholders previously received a rebate, training through an authorised Registered Training Organisations is now not only free, but landholders who complete it will also receive a free compliant helmet, worth around $120. 

More information regarding this can be found by clicking here. 

Western regional strategic weed management plan launched and available  

The Western Regional Strategic Management Plan (the Plan) was launched on 30 June and will safeguard the region against the threat of weeds.

The impact of weeds on Australian agriculture was estimated to be $2.5 billion in lost production and $1.8 billion in control activities every year.

The Plan will set the agenda for weed management across Western Local Land Services, and the other 10 regions, for 2017 - 22 and will outline strategies and actions to achieve goals that focus on shared responsibility for weed management, sustainable landscapes and collaborative leadership and innovation. 

The Plan will also guide resource allocation and investment and would provide a consistent basis for regional planning and delivery. 

The Western Regional Weed Committee comprised representatives from a number of government agencies including Western Local Land Services, local control authorities, public and private landholders and community members. 

To view the Plan
click here or contact your nearest Western Local Land Services office. 

Weather report 

Some fast facts about the weather in June.

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

Dates for your diary

Western Landcare Forum 

About: The 2017 Western Landcare Forum will explore the relationship between healthy landscapes and healthy food, and celebrate the diverse range of produce from our region. This is an opportunity for you to look at current trends involving food provenance and sustainability, how you can take advantage of these trends and put the produce of Western NSW on the map. Registrations close Friday, 21 July.

When and where: Broken Hill on 4 and 5 of August

More information: Speak to your local Landcare Coordinator or contact Fiona Garland on (02) 6872 2144.

On-farm biosecurity workshop series

About: A series of on-farm biosecurity workshops will be held throughout the Western region, giving landholders the opportunity to complete a biosecurity plan - see above section.

When and where: Dates are yet to be confirmed but are tentatively set for week commencing Monday, 4 September and to run for two weeks. Locations will be across the Western region and will also to be confirmed with dates in due course. 
More information: Biosecurity Officer, Lisa Caswell on 0428 722 045.

19th Biennial Conference of the Australian Rangeland Society 

About: The conference theme is "transition to transformation". Delegates will share their ideas and experience of the challenges and opportunities facing our rangeland environments, industries and communities during a time of significant change.

When and where: 25 to 28 September, Port Augusta, South Australia

More information: For more information click here.

2017 NSW Landcare and Local Land Services Conference

About: The NSW Landcare and Local Land Services Conference returns this October with the biennial event the primary showcase of partnerships between Landcare, community-driven natural resource management and Local Land Services. The conference will feature field trips, key note speakers and presentations from Landcare and Local Land Services' teams from across NSW.

When and where: 25 to 27 October, Albury NSW.

More information: For more information click here.

Until next time...

If you want more information about anything that has featured in the July newsletter, please contact your local Western Local Land Services office.

Please forward this newsletter onto anyone who would benefit or enjoy seeing what has been happening in the Western region.

You can also offer feedback and suggestions on what you'd like to see in future by clicking here. 

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.

Western Local Land Services 
Freecall: 1300 795 299

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