Get up to date with the team at Western LLS. 

Changes to the Biosecurity Act and what they mean for landholders

The NSW Government has announced a number of changes to the Biosecurity Act 2015 which came into effect on 1 August.

The amendments provide stronger protection for landholders against trespassers on their property, which to date have posed a major biosecurity breach. 

Anyone who enters a designated biosecurity area without permission and without complying with the plan's requirements may be guilty of an offence under the Act, and subject to the new, harsher penalties. 

What is the role of LLS? 

To access the new offence, landholders will need to have a biosecurity plan in place and appropriate signage.

Signs, or stickers to be placed on your existing signs, are currently available from all LLS offices.

Western LLS will be distributing signs, stickers and brochures to landholders from our office and local opportunities such as field days (these will be given out free until 31 December 2019 and after that will be available for purchase).

For further information on a Biosecurity Management Plan and the changes to the Act, visit the NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI) website, or contact your local Biosecurity Officer on 1300 795 299.

Senior Biosecurity Officer, Grant Davis and Biosecurity Team Leader, Tim Wall, with the biosecurity sign that is available for collection at all LLS offices. 

Funding available through the Western Weed Management Plan

Landholders have a great opportunity to receive funding to assist them to implement control measures for invasive species.

Funding will be provided on a cost share basis, with Western LLS contributing 80% of total budgeted project costs, to a limit of $10,000 per property.

Funds may be used to cover any costs associated with the weed control works, including:
  • labour - including landholders' labour or that of their employees
  • contractor - includes labour, plant or equipment
  • fuel - for diesel to mix with chemical
  • other - includes chemicals and products that align with a best practice, integrated approach. 
EOIs are due by Friday, 6 September. 

Prior to submitting an EOI, landholders are encouraged to read the program guidelines:
For more information contact Senior Land Services Officer, Brian Dohnt on 0455 901 258 or email
This project is supported by Western LLS, through funding from the Australian Government's National Landcare Program and Catchment Action NSW. The funding seeks to improve and sustain the condition of natural resources in the Western region through the control of invasive species, such as African Boxthorn (pictured). 

High priority invasive weed found in the Wanaaring area

In May this year, Western LLS and its stakeholders, Astrebela Agribusiness and NRM Consulting, undertook inspections of high risk pathways and sites in the Unincorporated area over a two week period.

During the course of these inspections, two infestations of Rubber Vine (Cryptostegia grandiflora) were located to the west of the Paroo River near Wanaaring.

 These two infestations have been sprayed in a joint action by Western LLS and the Bourke Shire.

The two infestations in the Western LLS region have been limited to invading chook runs and dog kennels, mainly due to the low rainfall, however, the risk of spread to areas east is high, and could cause severe damage in higher rainfall areas of north-eastern NSW.

Anyone in NSW suspecting they have this plant on their property should contact their local shire weeds officer or LLS and they’ll come out and deal with the problem.

For further information on Rubber Vine click here or contact the Western LLS Regional Weeds Coordinator, Andy McKinnon on 0428 671 370.

Rubber Vine is a highly invasive plant which has caused havoc in Queensland in times past, covering hundreds of thousands of hectares in an impenetrable mess of toxic foliage. Pictured is Bourke Shire Weeds Officer Russell Tiffen, spraying Rubber Vine. 

Change of leadership for the Western LLS Board 

As of 1 August, the Western LLS Board has a new Chair with Magnus Aitken stepping into the role in an acting capacity with Ben Barlow vacating the position.

Ben, who was a member of the inaugural Board in 2014 and became Chair in 2017, felt the time was right for him to step away in an official capacity. 

Magnus, who was appointed to the Board in 2017, will serve as the acting Chair until LLS Board appointments and elections are held next year. 

Ben has worked with Magnus and Western LLS General Manager, Erlina Compton over the past couple of months to ensure a smooth transition. 

The team at Western LLS wish Ben all the best for the future and congratulate Magnus on his appointment as acting Chair. For further information on the
Western LLS Board visit our website. 
Earlier this year, the Western LLS Board held a face to face meeting in Tibooburra. Since the start of the year, Marie Russell and Justin McClure have left the Board as their terms expired with Rebecca Bunyan and Felicity McLeod the new appointed members. With Ben choosing to finish his time as Chair, the Board has undergone substantial generational change which is something the Board has strongly supported. 

Aboriginal campsites protected from erosion following works 

Western LLS has worked with landholders and stakeholders including the Brewarrina Local Aboriginal Lands Council to protect several Aboriginal campsites on two properties in the Western region. 

The protected areas included hearth sites (ground ovens) and stone tools.

The protection work was carried out on multiple sites on Ngemba tribal lands, 110 kilometres south of Brewarrina known locally as ‘The Marra’. 

The protection works were particularly important to the Ngemba community and landholders of both properties as without intervention, further erosion was highly likely which would have put the sites at great risk of being damaged beyond recognition and unsalvageable. 

Following a number of inspections, it was decided the best way to protect these sites was through groundcover regrowth and to replace soil to encourage the growth of a number of plant species. 

Landholders and community members that know of an Aboriginal or historical site that they would be interested in protecting, should contact their nearest Western Local Land Services Office on 1300 795 299. 

Pictured are Edward Gordon and Cecil 'McGoo' Smith who carried out surveys at the properties involved. The images show the remnants from hearth sites (ground ovens) and other artefacts such as stone tools which are spread across the scalded areas. This project is supported by Western LLS through funding from the Australian Government's National Landcare Program.    

Annual Land and Stock Returns due at the end of the month

Landholders who are yet to lodge their Annual Land and Stock Returns (ALSR) have until 31 August to submit their form either online or via return post.  

The ALSR, which were mailed out at the end of June, 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.

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. 

 It is important landholders lodge an ALSR, even if they are a nil return.

Visit the LLS website to lodge your return and get further information. 

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

Opportunities for funding and capacity building 

Farm business skills professional development program NSW

A subsidy of $9,000 to help with the costs of accessing vocational and skills training is currently available to NSW farm businesses. 

At a minimum you must:
  • be involved in the management of primary production enterprise (principal operator and spouse, partners, family members, managers who are not family members)
  • earn 51% of your income from a primary production undertaking 
  • be able to contribute 50% of the total cost of the professional development activity. 
Other eligibility requirements may apply and applications can be made at any time. 

For further information click here

Support for small businesses to innovate and grow 

The Coles nurture fund was launched in April 2015 and made $50 million available to help small businesses innovate and grow. 

In the past four and a bit years, $19 million in financial support has been offered to 50 different producers to help fund the development of new market-leading products, technologies and processes. 

Grants for up to $500,000 are available and applications for the seventh round of funding are now open. 

For further information
click here and applications close on Friday, 30 August. 

Dates for the diary

Wentworth Show
What: Come and say g'day to the Western LLS team at the Wentworth Show where we will again have a trade exhibit. Some of the things and you come and see us about include:
  • recent changes to the Biosecurity Act
  • agricultural production and animal welfare during dry times
  • pest control, biosecurity and emergency management 
  • natural resource management 
  • sustainable land management provisions. 
When and where: 
24-25 August, Wentworth Showground (Pavilion Rd). 
More info: Visit our website or the Wentworth Show website
Farm Energy Forum (Buronga)
What: The NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI), with our support, are coordinating an energy forum that is suitable to all farmers including agriculturalists, horticulturists, viticulturists and NSW growers. Take a break from the farm and explore:
  • solar pumping options and practical ways to save
  • understand electricity costs and how to manage them
  • emerging technologies that may shape the future. 
When and where: 
Thursday, 29 August (9:30 am - 3:30 pm), Midway Centre, Buronga. 
More info: Visit our website and RSVP by 24 August to Leanne Hegedus (NSW DPI) on (03) 5019 8400 or email.

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: 
2-5 September, Canberra. 
More info: Visit the conference website.

Getting more lambs on the ground roadshow series
What: We are in the process of finalising details for a three day roadshow in Darnick, Ivanhoe, Mossgiel, Booligal and Hillston which will focus on lamb production and how to increase your productivity and profitability. Save the dates and come along and have a chat with one of our District Veterinarians and your local Western LLS team. 
When and where: 
  • 9 am Monday, 16 Sept - Darnick Hall
  • 2 pm Monday, 16 Sept - Ivanhoe RSL
  • 6 pm Monday, 16 Sept - Ivanhoe RSL
  • 9 am Tuesday, 17 Sept - Mossgiel Hall
  • 2 pm Tuesday, 17 Sept - Booligal Hall
  • 6 pm Tuesday, 17 Sept - Booligal Hall
  • 10 am Wednesday, 18 Sept - Hillston RSL
More info: keep an eye on our Facebook page, our website or contact:
  • District Veterinarian, Charlotte Cavanagh - 0429 773 021 or email
  • Biosecurity Officer, Johno McLean - 0428 362 073 or email

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: 
22-24 October, Broken Hill. Register now!  
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 August 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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