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Landholder guide to Local Land Services

Welcome

This information is about the services we provide locally and the vital role that we play across NSW.

We encourage you to contact your Local Land Services office for more specific information about your area and how we can work with you for a healthier and more productive landscape.

Download a printable brochure with this information:


Local Land Services snapshot

Productive, healthy and resilient landscapes and communities

  • information, training, workshops, field days and extension
  • funding to support sustainable production and a healthy environment
  • Aboriginal cultural heritage protection
  • native vegetation management and clearing consents.

Agricultural advice and information

  • information and support for producers in their livestock, cropping and mixed farming enterprises
  • workshops, field days and technical advice.

Keeping pests off your land

  • access to baits, traps, chemicals, etc
  • advice on control methods
  • help in forming groups to tackle pests together.

Healthy, productive livestock

  • diagnosis of flock and herd health issues
  • animal health advice
  • livestock feeding advice
  • chemical residue investigation and management
  • responding to emergency disease outbreaks.

Moving stock

  • issue of movement permits
  • permits to graze or walk stock on TSRs and roads
  • advice about feed/water availability on TSRs
  • supply of transport stock statements.

Keeping tabs on stock

  • Property Identification Codes
  • NLIS advice and compliance
  • stock registration (eg brands and earmarks).

What does Local Land Services do?

We work with landholders and the community to improve primary production and manage our natural resources.

We work with customers and partners to build community and productive resilence. Our stakeholders include the agricultural industry, Local Government, Landcare and the Aboriginal community.

We are a state-wide organisation with 11 regions – covering vastly different landscapes, communities and industries.

Locally, we are governed by a Board of ratepayer elected and government appointed members.

Our staff and Board all live and work in our region and are committed to improving central west NSW.

Our roles and responsibilities

Biosecurity

Biosecurity is the protection of the environment, economy and community from the impacts of pests and diseases.

We work with landholders, industry and the community to minimise biosecurity risks and their impacts on agricultural production, international market access or environmental health.

Livestock health

We deliver frontline livestock health and disease surveillance services in NSW.

Our district veterinarians and biosecurity officers deliver a range of national, state and local programs all aimed at safeguarding market access and improving livestock productivity. Our focus with livestock health is:

  • emergency disease prevention, preparedness and response
  • advisory and diagnostic services
  • disease surveillance and reporting
  • residue investigation and management
  • certification
  • traceability systems such as the National Livestock Identification System (NLIS).

We also assist animal welfare agencies with livestock welfare issues and deal with livestock concerns during emergencies such as drought, bushfires and floods.

Natural resource management

Healthy ecosystems underpin successful, productive agricultural businesses and communities.

Through investment from the NSW and Australian governments, we support a healthy ecosystem across the central west NSW landscape.

We help landholders and communities improve the quality of our land, soil, vegetation and water. We do this through:

  • grants and funding for on ground projects
  • partnerships
  • training and education.

To find out the current opportunities, visit our grants and funding page or call your nearest LLS Office.

We also work with farmers for native vegetation clearing consents and help protect and strengthen Aboriginal cultural heritage.

Stock movement and identification

We administer permits for moving and grazing stock on public roads and travelling stock reserves (TSRs).

We also administer a variety of stock identification systems including property identification codes (PICs), branding, earmarking and advice on NLIS.

Maintaining travelling stock reserves

We manage the TSR network throughout NSW. These networks of crown land provide invaluable fodder reserves and provide important landscape and ecological functions.

TSRs can be especially beneficial in times of drought, bushfire or flood.

Protecting our agricultural industry

Our district veterinarians and biosecurity officers are empowered as stock inspectors in NSW.

Their role includes visiting saleyards to ensure compliance with the NLIS and educating producers about the importance of tracing livestock.

Good surveillance detects any problems early and ensures the quality and safety of NSW livestock and livestock products.

Pest animal and insect control

We work with landholders to minimise the impact of pests on agricultural production and the environment.

Pest animals and insects cause serious economic losses to agricultural production, pose a risk of exotic disease, threaten the survival of many native species and cause environmental degradation.

We help coordinate group control programs – bringing landholders together to control wild dogs, rabbits, foxes, pigs, plague locusts and other pests.

Current species declared pests in NSW are wild rabbits, wild dogs, feral pigs, foxes and a number of plague locust species (Australian plague, spur-throated and migratory locusts).

Feral goats and mice are classed as nuisance animals in NSW. 

While there is no obligation for a landholder to control nuisance species, we can give advice and assistance in their control.

We also work with landholders and government agencies to develop vertebrate pest management plans and cooperative management programs.

Agricultural production

We support our primary industries through advisory services and support to agriculture, including information on:

  • farm management
  • land capability
  • cropping
  • pastures
  • mixed farming
  • horticulture
  • seasonal conditions.

We provide services and support to livestock industries through livestock advisory services and livestock management.

We also manage over 500,000 hectares of TSRs throughout NSW.

Emergency management

In partnership with the lead agency the Department of Primary Industries, we help manage livestock disease emergencies and biosecurity events involving plants, animals and pest insects such as locust plagues.

We also work alongside other agencies to provide vital support in emergencies where agriculture industries are impacted, including natural disasters such as flood and bushfire.

We build landholder capacity to plan, prepare, respond and recover from biosecurity emergencies and natural disasters.

Drought assistance and other natural disaster relief

We give help and advice in times of drought and play a key role in the regional seasonal conditions report process.

Our funding partners

The services we provide are funded in a variety of ways.

  1. The NSW Government contributes through two key streams.
  2. The first is a Treasury grant to fund our core functions.

The second is the Catchment Action NSW program which provides support for biodiversity, native vegetation, threatened species and Aboriginal cultural heritage outcomes.

The Australian Government is an important funding partner, primarily through the National Landcare Program.

The National Landcare Program helps drive sustainable agriculture as well as supporting the protection, conservation and rehabilitation of Australia's natural environment.

Ratepayers also contribute significantly to funding our biosecurity, livestock health and welfare services. Market access and healthy and productive industries rely on these services.

We also have private industry partnerships and investment which contribute to our work.

The benefit of this investor preference model is that each investor group gets the most value from the funds they provide.

2014-15 LLS funding model 

Local Land Services in the Central West

Central West Local Land Services has around 80 staff with diverse roles, experiences and knowledge.

We have offices in 11 towns across central west NSW and close connections with the community.

Our staff direct contact details are on our website so you can easily access the person you need.

You can also sign up to our monthly enewsletter to keep in the loop of the latest central west news, events and information.

There are a number of ways you can work with us to improve your land and our region.

We welcome your feedback to help us improve our services.

You can give feedback at any of our offices or via this website.

Our region

The Central West Local Land Services region is home to around 110,000 people.

Our region aligns mostly with Local Government Area boundaries, and includes:

  • Bogan (lower)
  • Coonamble
  • Dubbo
  • Forbes
  • Gilgandra
  • Lachlan
  • Narromine
  • Parkes
  • Warren
  • Warrumbungle
  • Weddin
  • Wellington.

Protect your animals

We all have a role to play in biosecurity and your role is vital.

Australia is in the enviable position of being free from many of the more devastating animal diseases such as:

  • foot and mouth disease
  • mad cow disease
  • rabies
  • screw worm fly.

These would have a devastating effect on our industry. We must work together to keep such diseases out of our country.

You can help. Be on the lookout for unusual symptoms. Contact a vet if things don't seem right with your herd.

We employ district vets and biosecurity officers who are prepared for emergency animal disease events.

Our vets are able to assist with disease investigations of a herd or flock nature, such as:

  • deaths
  • sick stock
  • illthrift (failure to grow or maintain weight in good conditions)
  • reproductive problems such as abortion.

We are involved in national, state and local disease control programs and can provide advice on local diseases and conditions. We can help with preventative health programs such as worming and vaccination.

What can you do to protect your animals?

There are some simple things you can do to help protect your herd or flock:

  • check stock under your care regularly and report anything unusual
  • when buying stock, request a national vendor declaration and animal health statement
  • ensure stock are identified according to the requirements under the NLIS and update the NLIS database if you buy directly from another producer
  • quarantine introduced animals for 7-10 days and monitor them during this period for any signs of disease.

Fencing

  • are your fences adequate for the stock you keep?
  • avoid straying by ensuring your fences are stock-proof
  • check them regularly, especially after floods or fires.

Property identification codes

It is compulsory in NSW for any property running livestock (cattle, sheep, goats, horses, pigs, alpaca, llama, deer, 100 or more poultry or 10 or more emus) to have a property identification code (PIC).

A PIC is a unique identifier for land used for keeping livestock. The PIC is fundamental to the operation and integrity of the NLIS for cattle, sheep, goats and pigs.

It is printed on NLIS devices and national vendor declarations.

To get a PIC, contact your nearest Local Land Services office or online

Significant disease events

While we are interested in all disease events, there are some that we are especially keen to know about. These include:

  • neurological signs
  • sudden deaths
  • abortion storms
  • blisters around the mouth and feet
  • red urine.

If you see something unusual, contact our district vets or the 24 hour emergency animal disease hotline (1800 675 888).

Small landholders and hobby farmers

We realise that many landholders do not run large farming enterprises and some may not even live on their property.

We are increasingly tailoring services for these smaller landholders.

We regularly run a range of field days, information and training sessions and landholder programs for both established producers and new landholders.

Emergency planning

Be prepared! A flood or fire plan organised before an event makes the experience much less stressful for you and your stock.

If your property is flood prone, your flood plan should include details of:

  • where you will move your stock
  • how you will move them
  • what is the trigger for moving them.

If your property is at risk from fire, your fire plan should also highlight the need to move stock to less fire prone paddocks on days of extreme fire danger.

Zoonotic diseases

There are diseases that may pass from animals to humans.

You, as a stock owner, must know what diseases may pose a risk to your health and that of your family and workers.

Diseases you should be aware of include:

  • Q fever
  • Leptospirosis
  • Hydatids
  • Swine brucellosis

Hendra virus is an especially serious disease for horse owners.

Animal welfare

Stock owners have responsibility to provide stock with:

  • sufficient food and water
  • shelter
  • necessary treatment for injury or disease.

Your responsibilities as a landholder

There are other legal responsibilities which come with being a landholder.

Lodge an annual land and stock return

Annual land and stock returns are mailed out in June and must be returned by 31 August. 

These contain valuable information regarding stock numbers, property details and other data which can be vital in the event of an emergency animal disease outbreak.

You are required to lodge a return each year even if you don't have stock.

Let us know of changes in address, occupancy or ownership

Ratepayers are required to let us know of a change of address or other details.

Pay rates

Rates notices are sent out each year. Interest is charged on overdue rates.

Control declared pests on your land

This is a requirement under legislation. For help in carrying this out contact your Local Land Services.
Identify stock

You have legal responsibilities for stock identification. There are a number of different types of identification which may apply. Your Local Land Services office can advise you further.

Comply with relevant legislation

You have obligations as a landholder such as protecting Aboriginal cultural heritage and managing native vegetation within legislative guidelines.

Report notifiable diseases

You are legally obliged to report any notifiable disease to Local Land Services or the Department of Primary Industries. For information on notifiable diseases contact your Local Land Services.

Take care when moving stock

If you are planning to move stock on a public road or TSR (either by vehicle or walking) you must organise the appropriate paperwork with your Local Land Services office and observe certain safety requirements.

When moving stock by walking, appropriate stock warning signs must be displayed.


About rates

The rates you pay allow us to fund a number of the services we provide and contribute to important statewide functions.

General rate

A general rate is levied on all rateable land (ie land over a certain number of hectares). It has a base charge and an amount payable on the notional carrying capacity of the land.

The general rate assists with pest animal control activities, general administration and in some cases the maintenance of the TSRs.

Animal health rate

This is an additional rate levied on rateable land on which 50 or more stock units (or dry sheep equivalents) are run.

This rate also applies if you fail to submit your annual land and stock return on time.

The animal health rate is used to fund the animal health services we provide.

Special purpose rates

At times, we may raise a special purpose rate. An example of this was the rate levied on behalf of the State Government to help fund the plague locust campaign of 2008-09, which helped save millions of dollars in agricultural production.

We may at times also collect statutory levies on behalf of other authorities (eg the NSW Food Authority).

Paying your rates

Rates are levied each year for the period 1 January to 31 December.

Rates notices are sent out early in the year. There are a number of payment options, including online.

For more information, contact your Local Land Services office.


Frequently asked questions

How does Local Land Services work?

We are a statewide body with 11 regions covering NSW.

How are you financed?

Local Land Services is funded through Australian government, NSW government, ratepayers and private investment.

Is Local Land Services part of the Department of Primary Industries (DPI)?

No, we are separate. There is a close working relationship between the two organisations.

Who are Local Land Services responsible to?

We are responsible to the NSW Minister for Primary Industries, Land and Water.

Which region am I in?

When you receive your rates notice, the name of your Local Land Services will appear on the notice.

Alternatively authority maps can be found on the statewide Local Land Services website

How are my rates calculated

Rates are charged on a two-tier basis, involving a general rate paid by all landholders and a supplementary animal health rate. 

Rates are approved by the Minister for Primary Industries or our statewide Chair.

What's a notional carrying capacity and who works it out?

The notional carrying capacity is an estimate, worked out by your Local Land Services, of the number of stock a property would normally carry in an average year. It is based on stock units per hectare.

What if I disagree with the notional carrying capacity assessment?

You can lodge an appeal with us at any time, however this will only affect rate amounts if received within 28 days of receiving your rates notice.

I'm not rural - council zoned my property as residential. Do I still have to pay rates?

Local government zoning is not relevant to Local Land Services districts.

How do I find out the latest farm management information?

We work closely with DPI and other bodies carrying out research to share best practice information with the community.

Sign up to our newsletter to find out more

If I pay rates, do I get baits and other things free?

Most merchandise (eg baits, stock signs) are charged on a cost recovery basis.

What support is out there to help me improve my land?

We run a variety of grant programs to support natural resource management and sustainable agricultural production.

To find what is currently available visit our grants and funding page or call your Local Land Services office.

We also run regular workshops and have a range of fact sheets, publications and videos available to support you.

Why do I need to use a private vet when my Local Land Services has a district vet?

Our district vets provides a herd/flock health service whereas private practitioners are responsible for treating individual animals.

What is an annual return? Why is it important?

Annual returns gather information about stock held on the land as at 30 June. They contain information essential for livestock disease control and surveillance.

They take only a few minutes to complete but are invaluable in the event of a disease outbreak. The due date for lodgement is 31 August each year.

You are required to lodge a return each year even if you don't have stock.

How do I have a say in how Local Land Services is run?

As a ratepayer, you are eligible to nominate to become a Board member in your Local Land Services region.

Board elections are held every four years and current Board member details are on our website.

We also operate a number of community advisory groups. Visit our website or call your Local Land Services office to find out more.

We're here to help - just ask.

Download a printable brochure with this information: