Transition to LLS – the failure to connect

In Australia the voting turnout was lower than Zimbabwe for the recent LLS elections. When you consider the build up to the elections was enthusiastically promoted by the NSW Government and the DPI you can understand the embarrassment of the turnout. What is difficult to understand the refusal to release the figure and facts of what went wrong?

On two previous occasions CO2Land org posted positive expectations for the process. On December 21, 2013, the story – Transition to LLS – NSW, 1 year on: “From 1 January 2014, the new Local Land Services (LLS) organisation will commence operating under the Local Land Service Act 2013” Source . Notice of election – LLS Board Members to be conducted early 2014 and mooted to be ballot to close 12 March 2014. Prior to that Transition to LLS – NSW, December 2, 2012: “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”. So what went wrong, why is the Shadow Minister for Primary Industries (DPI), Steve Whan, calling for an inquiry into the low voter turnout?

To use what Whan is quoted as saying in a press release is, and published in the Bungendore Mirror 26 March 2014: “From my discussions with land owners, though, the main reason for low voter turnout was they had no confidence whatsoever in the LLS model nor that their voices would matter”, and “These boards are unrepresentative of NSW landowners and importantly they are appallingly unrepresentative of the vital role women play in rural communities”.

So it seem that the model is the issue for up to 90% of the eligible voters. The other matter was the voter registration process was botched. It might not be appropriate to comment any further on that matter, or at least until it is clarified by the DPI, or through any inquiry that might follow.

Is there any other information that might be relevant for the story? Well, yes get ready for this: The call for new Landcare action, a press release on the 25th anniversary of Landcare’s formation, the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF), and the National Farmers Federation (NFF) have joined forces. This is not the first time they have teamed up for activities to reverse the degradation of farmland, public land and waterways. What is significant is that this alliance is meant to build relationships, not dictate or prescribe political edicts.

We could also draw the long bow here and say it is an ominous sign for the Green Army policy hopes for the Federal Government. Recently seen is a placard saying it had the answer to our rural woes – a Abbott proof fence! For those readers outside Australia, to help with controlling rabbits a rabbit proof fence was built in the outback. This reference to Abbott Proofing is part of the Australian form of humour. If you don’t get it – that’s OK it will come to you one day!




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 . 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”.