Landholders across NSW will start to receive their Local Land Services (LLS) rates notices in the mail but this year, there will be a welcome number – zero.

The NSW Government’s Drought Relief Package, announced in 2018, included a special waiver for LLS rates for this year providing welcome relief for drought impacted rural and regional landholders.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke said that while rates are a vital source of income for LLS – supporting the organisation’s biosecurity, emergency response and animal health work across NSW – it is important at this time to provide full support to landholders who are focusing on getting back on their feet following one of the worst droughts on record.

“Many landholders in the Cootamundra electorate pay LLS rates each year and we hope this measure eases some of the burden our producers are feeling at the moment.

“The rains we’ve had in Young, Cootamundra and Harden yesterday have really rubbed salt in the wounds of our farmers who we know are managing incredibly harsh environmental conditions.

“LLS provides a vital service to our community and I know many landholders have found their service and help during these past 12 months invaluable,” she added.

The work supported by rates includes:

  • supporting landholders to control pests and meet their legal obligations
  • our vets’ animal health programs
  • our biosecurity and surveillance programs which limit and prevent pest and disease incursions
  • supporting agriculture and animals during emergencies
  • supporting stock identification and traceability systems
  • managing travelling stock reserves.

Ms Cooke said the work of biosecurity officers and district vets is essential for the region’s agricultural industry and wider landscape health, particularly when the land itself is struggling to recover from drought.

“The Rates Waiver will still mean that landholders will have access to the technical experts, training and programs to help them manage their land and meet legal obligations,” Ms Cooke said.

“Our work in supporting traceability systems such as the national livestock identification system means markets remain confident in our ‘clean and green’ reputation. Additionally, the biosecurity and surveillance programs run by LLS limit and prevent the incursions of pests and diseases.

“The NSW Government is committed to being there for landholders when it matters. We know LLS teams across the state will continue to meet community expectations and deliver a comprehensive service to landholders at this really tough time.”

For more information visit www.lls.nsw.gov.au/annual-rates