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South East Circular

Edition 18, April 2016
Minister for Primary Industries Niall Blair visited the south east region in early April to introduce the new Chair of Board of Chairs, Mr Tim de Mestre and speak with Local Land Services staff.  Minister Blair and Tim de Mestre took the opportunity to meet with 12 land managers participating in a coordinated group fox baiting program in the Yass Valley as part of the Feral Fighters initiative. They also met with Palerang Council and Landcare representatives who are partners with South East Local Land Services on cross tenure weed management projects in the Braidwood district.  They visited the Back Creek travelling stock reserve where widespread weeds are being managed to protect high conservation value vegetation.  The reserve supports several threatened plant species and an Endangered Ecological Community.  A weed management plan is currently being developed and implemented for the TSR and adjacent Crown land.

Photo: Minister Blair (second from right) with Donna Hazell, Team Leader; Felicity Sturgiss, Biodiversity Program Coordinator, Upper Shoalhaven Landcare Council and Simon Holloway, Environmental Services Coordinator, Palerang Council at Back Creek TSR, Bendoura near Braidwood.

Improving worm control in sheep

Dr. Kate Sawford
District Veterinarian

Worms cost Australian sheep producers more than any other animal health problem. This fact has become more evident in the Braidwood region over the past couple of years, as warm conditions into autumn combined with some rain have extended the season for Barber’s pole worm.

While losses that occur when animals die are obvious, about 80 per cent of the costs of worms are more insidious and come in the form of decreased weight gains, wool production and fertility.

Read the full article: Improving worm control in sheep

Local disease watch

Bill Johnson
District Veterinarian
  • Facial eczema has been confirmed in dairy cattle on the Far South Coast. 
  • Seven calves recently died from blackleg on a south coast farm. Blackleg is a bacterial infection which causes sudden deaths in young cattle. 
  • Recent worm egg counts in some mobs are well into the thousands of eggs per gram, all barber's pole.
  • Liver fluke in cattle has been on the increase in the district, and we've been expecting levels in sheep to follow suit. 
  • Toxic algal blooms have developed on many farm dams and watercourses, encouraged by warm temperatures and lack of run-off. 
Read the full report: Local disease watch - April 2016

Autumn feeding guide

Hot and dry conditions in March has seen an increase in supplementary feeding as a result of the 'green pick' quickly disappearing across large parts of the region. An 'autumn feeding guide' has been put together to help sheep producers work out supplementary feeding rates and can be downloaded from our website. This guide deals with various classes of stock, including late winter/spring lambing ewes, autumn lambing ewes and weaners.

Download: Sheep feeding guide April 2016

New wasps in the Bega Valley

Hayden Kingston
Land Services Officer
We recently had some wasps that were found nesting in a wood heap in Bega brought in for identification. These wasps looked similar to our native paper wasps but were slightly bigger and the colours and patterns on the body were different when looked at closely. A digital photo was sent to the Australian Museum and the wasps were confirmed to be Asian Paper Wasps.
Asian Paper Wasp, Polistes chinensis 
Photographer: Bruce Hulbert © Bruce Hulbert 
The Asian Paper Wasp was first reported in Australia around 1990 and has generally only been reported in the Sydney region with one record at Jamberoo and a recent confirmed report in Canberra. This was the first time it has been reported on the far south coast though the entomologist at the Museum thinks that they are probably more widespread than we realise but have been under reported.

Read the full article: New wasps in the Bega Valley

Recognition for District Vet

District Vet Petrea Wait, from our Cooma office, has been recognised for her work with responding to Virulent Footrot in the Monaro. Petrea was nominated by her veterinary colleagues for the NSW Chief Veterinary Officer Award. 

Thinking of purchasing a property in the bush?

Laura Canackle
Senior Land Services Officer (Native Vegetation)

South East Local Land Services is the consent authority for the Native Vegetation Act 2003, which governs the clearing of native vegetation on rural land in NSW. If you are considering purchasing a property that is rural-zoned and thinking of clearing native vegetation, it’s a good idea to check if the activity requires approval under the Native Vegetation Act. 

Each property is different and attributes such as size of the property, existing infrastructure, agricultural activity, proximity to waterways and land vulnerability to erosion are all the things that would need to be considered to determine whether a clearing activity is permitted. Keep in mind that ‘clearing’ applies to native trees, shrubs and groundcover.

Find out more: Thinking of purchasing a property in the bush?

Grazing management courses start soon

Jo Powells
Senior Land Services Officer (Pastures)

Opportunities are arising across the South East Local Land Services region in the coming months for land managers to participate in the highly regarded PROGRAZE® course. The course is designed to help producers develop skills in pasture and animal assessment and then use these skills to improve the productivity and sustainability of their grazing systems. 

PROGRAZE® is presented over a series of 8 half-day workshops that are usually held 4 - 6 weeks apart across a 12 month period to capture the seasonal variations in pasture and animal production.

The course uses a hands-on approach, with the days being conducted on group member’s farms with a strong in-paddock approach.

Further information: Grazing management courses start soon

Do you know the size of your paddocks?

Fiona Leech
Senior Land Services Officer (Mixed Farming Systems)
Knowing the exact areas of your paddocks on farm is an extremely useful piece of information related to your everyday decision making but has not always been an easy piece of information to confirm. On farm decisions relating to ordering quantities of fertiliser, seed, chemicals, lime to name a few as well as determining stocking rates run all require a knowledge of paddock size.

We recently have been made aware of a free web based program that can be downloaded to your computer and used easily to calculate paddock areas or simply to just determine distances from one point to another.

The free program is called Google Earth Pro.

Read the full article: Do you know the size of your paddocks?

From the garden to the plate

Peter Gow
Land Services Officer

Seventeen local landholders now have the taste for designing edible gardens after participating in a Designing Edible Landscapes workshop, held recently at the SAGE Community Garden at Moruya. The workshop was organised by South East Local Land Services.

Find out more: From the garden to the plate

Landcare Australia field visit

Andrew Britton
Land Services Officer
Twenty-seven Landcare Australia staff from across Australia visited the Shoalhaven on 15 and 16 March to explore five community and South East Local Land Services projects near Nowra and Kangaroo Valley.
Peter Jirgens - Riverwatch Volunteer, inspired Landcare Australia staff with historical stories of work completed by Charlie Weir who has planted over 90,000 mangroves since the 1980’s along the Shoalhaven River. While standing on the fishing platform at Broughton Creek and inspecting the nursery at the Nowra Golf Club, Mr Jirgens described the new streamlined and innovated process for building sand sausages to protect mangroves planted by his team of 20 volunteers who meet on a regular basis to work on the river.
Read the full article: Landcare Australia visit

Innovative partership tackles marine pest

Andrew Kirkley
Senior Land Services Officer, NRM
Pacific Oyster control programs have helped improve the long-term sustainability of the Sydney Rock Oyster industry on the NSW South Coast. The Clyde River is the third most important oyster growing estuary in the region and is a nationally important wetland. Together with the Tomaga River these estuaries are extremely sensitive coastal systems and the brackish and sheltered waters that typify them represent the preferred habitat for Class 1 and 2 noxious marine pests.
The ‘Seachange-Aboriginal marine pathways to social inclusion’ project aims reduce the input of exotic seaweeds and diseases which are known to be harmful to Sydney Rock Oysters. European Green Shore Crab control will reduce the potentially large impact on NSW oyster industries through return of native species and reduced predation on juvenile oysters.
Read more: Innovative partnership tackles marine pest

Partnership protects endangered perch

Melissa Henry
Land Services Officer
Sari Glover
Senior Land Services Officer, NRM
A local land manager has combined forces with South East Local Land Services, Fisheries NSW and Greening Australia to construct two barriers to prevent the spread of exotic fish, and protect one of the last populations in NSW of the rare and endangered southern pygmy perch.

The Southern pygmy perch is a small fish, growing to approximately 65-85 mm in length. Once widely distributed throughout the Lachlan, Murrumbidgee and Murray River systems, it has suffered large-scale reductions in its range since European settlement

There are only three small isolated populations remaining in NSW, the threat of losing this species from the state is very real.
Image: Southern pygmy perch (Luke Pearce)
One of the major causes for the decline in southern pygmy perch is competition and predation from exotic species particularly carp and redfin.  The recent invasion of redfin into Urumwalla Creek has been decimating the population of southern pygmy perch within that system. The redfin have been moving up stream progressively wiping out the pygmy perch as they go.

Read the full article: Partnership protects endangered perch

LLS Seasonal Conditions Report 

The LLS Seasonal Conditions Report for February is available on our website for your information:

Feral Fighters 2016

South East Local Land Services is targeting foxes and wild dogs this autumn as part of a coordinated baiting campaign to significantly reduce these populations. The Feral Fighters 2016 autumn fox and dog campaign will involve the prescribed use of 1080 poisoned baits. 

Land manager participation is critical to the success of the Feral Fighters program and South East Local Land Services is encouraging neighbours and networks of land managers to participate because a group approach achieves better landscape outcomes.

Further information: Feral Fighters program

Weather and Climate Risk Management

The Bureau of Meteorology is offering a professional development course in Weather and Climate Risk Management. The course will help with: using seasonal outlook information for short to medium term decisions; weather information and real time data and alerts for short term decisions and using local historical weather to understand local climatology, historical risk of extremes and any trends.

The course is an approved professional development activity as part of the NSW Drought Strategy.

Further information: Rural Assistance Authority website

Local Annual Report 2015 

The 2015 Activity Report showcases the range of on- ground work and activities undertaken by South East Local Land Services across our core business functions: biosecurity, emergency management, productive agriculture and natural resource management, that have added value to regional landscapes and economies throughout the year. 

Download: Local Annual Report 2015 

The benefits of electronic identification in cattle

Matthew Lieschke
Senior Land Services Officer, Livestock

The benefits of electronic identification in cattle

While electronic identification is not a new concept for cattle producers, some producers are now taking advantage of National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) tags to make herd management easier and more efficient.

Electronic identification (EID) systems offer a whole range of benefits, such as improved record keeping, saving labour and time.

Other benefits include their ability to track breeding history and individual performance.  They increase confidence with cattle assessment and marketing to meet market specifications and they meet requirements for Quality Assurance programs such as Livestock Production Assurance.

One of the major obstacles for producers going down the EID path is having a clear understanding of exactly how the technology will fit in with their system and what the benefits are. 

To help producers work through this South East Local Land Services, in conjunction with Alison Hamilton of AJM Livestock Solutions, is holding a free workshop on Wednesday, 20 April at Braidwood.

Further information: The benefits of electronic identification in sheep

Narooma littoral rainforest field day

South East Local Land Services is inviting members of the community to participate in a free rainforest field day on Tuesday, 19 April from 10 am.

The field day will involve two informative walks through the different types of rainforest at Narooma - the Wagonga Inlet littoral rainforest and the box cutting rainforest.

Local Botanist, Jackie Miles will be on hand to guide participants and explain how to identify the native rainforest plants and the threatening weeds.

There will be discussions on the range of techniques that can be used to control weeds.

Further information: Narooma littoral rainforest field dayq

Correct identification is the first and most crucial step in weed management. You can read more about weed management on our website:

South Coast Industry Dinner 2016

Thursday, 28 April 2016

After the success of last year’s industry dinner, selling out 100 tickets in two weeks, we are again hosting the event. You are invited to attend the evening at Oak Room Eleven Dining and Wine Bar, Gerringong to sample the exquisite local produce while being inspired by fellow producers.  

The evening provides the opportunity to connect with producers in other industries and to start discussing how we can work together to promote profitable and sustainable primary production on the NSW South Coast. 

Book your seat now: South Coast Industry Dinner 2016



South East Circular is a monthly email newsletter containing information about our services, biosecurity alerts, technical articles and notices of upcoming events, training and funding opportunities. It also celebrates the innovations and achievements of the wide variety of land management partnerships, projects and programs across our region.
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Local Land Services South East
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