Michael Johnsen MP, Member for Upper Hunter said today that local landholders in Upper Hunter have started to receive their Local Land Services (LLS) rates notices in the mail and this year there will be a welcome number: zero.
Mr Johnsen said the NSW Nationals in 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.
“It’s important at this time to provide full support to our local farmers who are focusing on surviving in the midst one of the worst droughts on record.
“Many farmers in our region pay LLS rate each quarter and we hope this measure eases some of the burden our producers are feeling at the moment.
“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.
“As the local Member, I listened to and understood the message from our local farmers regarding their needs, and as a Member of this NSW Government I was able to work with colleagues to help deliver this LLS rates win.
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.
Mr Johnsen 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,” Mr Johnsen 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 Nationals in Government are committed to being there for landholders when it matters. We know LLS teams across Upper Hunter and the state will continue to meet community expectations and deliver a comprehensive service to landholders at this really tough time,” Mr Johnsen concluded.
For more information visit www.lls.nsw.gov.au/annual-rates