State politics | Waiver’s a welcome relief for struggling farmers

EASE THE PRESSURE: Member for Bathurst Paul Toole says a waiver for Local Land Services rates this year will provide relief for drought-affected rural landholders.
EASE THE PRESSURE: Member for Bathurst Paul Toole says a waiver for Local Land Services rates this year will provide relief for drought-affected rural landholders.

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 relief for drought-affected rural and regional landholders.

While rates are a vital source of income for LLS, 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.

LLS provides a vital service and I know many landholders have found their help invaluable in the past year.

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 technical experts, training and programs to help them manage their land and meet legal obligations.

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.

Be fire ready

AUSTRALIA is a diverse country when it comes to weather, as seen in the past few months.

Floods up north and major fires down south have been devastating communities across the land.

While we have been lucky not to have experienced the same, we need to be aware of the risks.

I’d like to remind people to make sure they’ve prepared their homes for the remainder of the bushfire season, and know what to do if they’re affected by floods or storms.

Getting ready involves five simple steps:

  • Know your risk: think about the area you live in and the types of disasters that could affect you.
  • Plan now for what you will do: sit down and talk with your family and plan for what you will do if a disaster affects your area.
  • Get your home ready: do general home maintenance and check your insurance.
  • Be aware: find out how to prepare and what to do if there is a disaster in your area.
  • Look out for each other: share information with your family, friends, neighbours and those who may need assistance.

Visit www.emergency.nsw.gov.au/getready