Transition to LLS – NSW, 1year on

Having time the think, being in the long queue at the newly badged ‘Service NSW centre’. Then after a pleasant ‘sorry about the wait’ – all forgiven at that point. Soon after and reflecting the Service tag it was remembered CO2Land org wrote on 2 December 2012 ‘Transition to LLS – NSW’ and the concern then was the concern as to whether it was an aspirational goal that changes will result in improved services for Landholders. LLS is the acronym for Local Land Services.

So what is happening at LLS? “From 1 January 2014, the new Local Land Services (LLS) organisation will commence operating under the Local Land Service Act 2013” Source www.lls.nsw.gov.au . Notice of election – LLS Board Members to be conducted early 2014 and mooted to be ballot to close 12 March 2014. There are 11 regions of LLS and three members are to be elected for each with exception of Western region where four will be elected. What should be noted is that to be eligible to vote or stand you need to be enrolled under LLS for the region you are enrolled for, and if you were previously enrolled under the former Livestock Health and Pest Authority (LHPA) the enrollment will not be automatically transferred to LLS enrollment. You have to make an effort to do so, and the date to do so is given as by 17 February 2014.

The Tablelands landholder newsletter, December 2013 edition, says the LLS is a new grass roots model for regional service delivery, and brings together technical and advisory knowledge from the Department of Primary Industries, Livestock Health and Pest Authorities and Catchment Management Authorities. All the assets of the authorities will be handed over to the new bodies by 31 December 2013. Is it to be a new broom? Time will tell, no doubt.

The Bungendore Mirror, 18 December 2013 Edition, wrote of the appointment of Gavin Whiteley as General Manager of the South East region of LLS and the words CO2Land org liked were “I am passionate about growing a thriving, innovative, diverse rural Australia and excited about being able to apply my skills, knowledge and experience”.

 

Transistion to LLS – NSW

Some confusion exists of the changes in NSW, and how safeguarding agriculture will continue. The November 2012 issue of the Tablelands Landholder Newsletter features John Seaman the Chairman from the Livestock Health and Pest Authorities (LHPA).  The central message is LHPA will continue to service agriculture stakeholders until LHPA, Catchment Management Authorities (CMA) and some of the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) responsible units are amalgamated into the new body in NSW called Local Land Services (LLS). The complete handover to LLS is expected to be January 2014.

CO2Land org is compelled to help clarify what is happening in the transition after we broke a story Major shake-up for DPI: Posted on October 10, 2012 by co2land. In that post as quoted “It is goodbye to Catchment Management and the Livestock Health and Pest Authorities. They are to be eliminated in a major shake-up in the provision of agricultural and catchment management services in NSW. This means a Major shake-up for the Department of Primary Industries. It is understood the new structure would be responsible for:  Agricultural advice, plant and animal pest control and biosecurity, natural resource management; and, emergency and disaster assessment and response.

The Primary Industries Minister Katrina Hodgkinson was quoted as saying “agricultural advisory services provided by Agriculture NSW (part of the Department of Primary Industries) would also be incorporated in a single new body, Local Land Services”.

The theme of the transition is ‘let’s work together’ and it is said that ‘business as usual’ will continue in terms of maintaining commitment to the landholders.

On the theme of lets work together highlighted is:

  • Reduce Rural Crime, and unfortunately opportunist crime is common and organized crime continues. Good neighbours is as important as is effective policing and it could be time for a sensible Christmas present suggestion – motion sensing cameras around and at the entrance of the property.  Maybe everything that goes moo though the night might be a real mover?
  • Fox control has resulted in a 10-15% lamb marking increase – serious effort required to continue with eliminating this introduced pest.
  • It is a legal requirement for all landholders in NSW to control declared pest animals. Wild Rabbits are part of that requirement.
  • From 1 September 2012, in NSW, anyone who keeps livestock will be required to have a Property Identification Code (PIC). This code is for the parcel of land in which the livestock are kept. You should be aware this requirement says the land parcel owns the Livestock and the carer (Landholder/Manager) needs permission to move the livestock to other areas or parcels of land. You should also be aware that the previous requirement for the PIC has been expanded to deer, bison, buffalo, alpacas, llama, donkeys, and horses, keeping more than 100 poultry, more than 10 emu or ostriches in addition to cattle, sheep, goats and pigs need to have a PIC number.

Looking at the model of Local Land Services you might notice the emphasis is on a better relationship for regional areas, and making it less prescriptive in dealing with the landholders. While it is welcome that the work of community-based natural resource management organisations like Landcare NSW and Greening Australia will be more closely attuned to the administration it remains to be seen if harmony will prevail over funding distributions and cooperation with other co-funded organisations including the Rural Research and Development Corporations. That said, both federal and state bodies are on record as being supportive of volunteers that work in the communities and in return they can receive stewardship payments to offset some of the program costs.

It follows that most landholders are part of a community group and would be happy if the benefits of the changes included biodiversity reintroduction, carbon sequestration and salinity and erosion control. And, little or no additional cost being levied on landholders to achieve the benefit.

Co2Land org  encourages any question to be directed to admin.tablelands@lhpa.org.au