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Tablelands Telegraph - August 2021

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Annual Land and Stock Returns

Don’t forget to lodge your Annual Land and Stock Returns before the end of August.

By filling in your Return, you help to build a picture of agricultural land use and livestock numbers across NSW. This combined effort assists in monitoring flocks and herds for emergency animal diseases. Information about livestock, including pigs, horses and poultry helps us to assist customers with support such as emergency fodder, yards or shelter when emergencies or disasters strike.

Annual Land and Stock Returns are a statutory requirement and can be submitted online. The Returns capture the number of stock or birds on the property as at 30 June, much like a census captures a moment in time.

We encourage you to lodge online to reduce mail handling during the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions. Where there are barriers to online lodgement, you can still mail to PO Box listed on the return form or phone for further assistance on 1300 795 299.

Providing accurate information about stock numbers is essential, even if it means lodging a ‘nil-return’ after difficult decisions around destocking during the drought or after fires, not running a livestock enterprise, or any other change such as agistment numbers.

TSR priorities

Did you know we manage 3,310 hectares of Travelling Stock Reserves (TSRs) in the Central Tablelands?

Our biggest challenge is that our region doesn’t have the traditional stock routes used by drovers to move stock across the state or as drought refuge, but rather a scattering of 380 individual holdings across the region ranging in size from 0.5ha to 20ha. 

Click to view an interactive map of TSRs in NSW.

The logistics of managing this number of ‘paddocks’ is challenging and comes with a high per hectare cost. We also face several known compliance challenges including unauthorised collection of firewood, unauthorised grazing, unauthorised camping, four-wheel driving and motorbike riding, occupation of reserves and damage to reserves. Investigation of compliance requires significant time investment by staff, but we are committed to protecting this valuable community asset. 

In the coming year our priority is to continue to focus on increasing the community’s care, value and knowledge of TSRs by encouraging active participation and through targeted and regular communication. We will continue to work closely with neighbours, permit holders, recreational users, the indigenous community, local governments, and state agencies such as Crown Lands. 

We are also investigating avenues for additional investment and partnerships to manage high conservation value TSRs and improve the conservation value of all reserves. 

Targeted investment in the maintenance and improvement of TSRs is informed by decision making that recognises high priority TSRs, based on income generating potential, legislative requirement, conservation value and other considerations.

QR codes and farms

Business and organisations registered as COVID safe can access their NSW Government QR code and other customised resources online at NSW Government QR code and business resources. 

Under the Public Health (COVID-19 Gathering Restrictions) Order (No 2) Amendment Order (No 2) 2021, farms are not required to have mandatory QR codes.

However, primary industry businesses are strongly encouraged to register as COVID Safe and use QR Codes where possible. 

For the purposes of on-farm activities such as bull/ram sales, shearing, and other events where you have larger on-farm visitors than usual, primary producers need to:
  • Keep a register of visitors. The organisers can choose how they do this, i.e QR code, sheet of paper, etc. 
  • This list needs to be made available to NSW Health, if requested, within 4 hours either as an excel or csv file to support contract tracing. If they are using a QR code this information is already provided. 
  • Hold this information for 4 weeks. 
  • The business is encouraged to complete an Agriculture COVID Safety Plan to ensure they meet all COVID safety requirements. 
Agricultural shows and agricultural field days are required to have mandatory QR Codes.

Visit NSW DPI for more information about COVID-19 and your farm business.

Feral pig numbers on the rise

Feral pig numbers within the region have increased dramatically with sightings of large mobs and associated impacts being reported. The current season is providing great conditions for feral pigs to breed and push into new areas and large scale coordinated control programs are required to reduce the feral pig numbers. 

Baiting for feral pigs is being used successfully across the region and needs to be considered by all affected landholders as a means of control. However, there are a number of considerations to ensure your control activities are effective.

For example, baiting for feral pigs is considered a key primary control method, but it may not be effective in controlling feral pig numbers if executed poorly, carried out on a scale that is too small for the size of the property, or as sporadic activity.

It's important that you assess a number of factors to ensure you come up with a plan of action that will deliver the best results.

There are a number of ways to determine the best plan for your circumstances – visit for a whole range of information and tips, grab a Glovebox Guide from one of our offices, or chat to one of our Biosecurity Officers to discuss your options.

Even if you are not directly impacted by stock or crop losses, pest animals are impacting on you in one way or another either by affecting the economy and environment in your local community, or spreading diseases, and attacking native wildlife and domestic pets.

Everyone has a legal responsibility to control pest animals. The Biosecurity Act 2015 is legislation that covers rules like reporting of high risk and priority pests, and controlling the movement, keeping and release of pest animals.

As a landholder you are not expected to know everything about managing pest animals on your property; we can advise you on the best control methods to help you work towards satisfying your General Biosecurity Duty. Local Land Services also has a regulatory role under the Act which means we will develop, implement and enforce pest animal management programs and activities which optimise compliance.

Incentive funding coming this month

Funding will be available to eligible private landholders in areas impacted by the 2019-2020 bushfires along the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area on the Central Tablelands LLS eastern boundary.  

Incentive funding will be available in August as part of the Greater Blue Mountains Regional Bushfire Recovery project funded through the Australian Government.  

Two Incentive projects will be available: 
  1. Bushfire Recovery Weed Management – funding weed control activities of regional priority weed species impacting properties and threatening the World Heritage Area.  
  2. Enhancing Stream Management – targeting, by invite only, landholders on the Capertee River, Blackheath Creek and Coxs River (downstream of Jenolan Caves Road) to improve stream health and condition protecting endangered Blue Mountains Perch populations and fish habitat. 
Keep an eye out for more information on the Grants and Funding page on our website and Facebook.  

Contact Allan Wray on 6333 2318 to find out more. 

Rare as Regent's teeth

This spring we are encouraging you to get out and keep an eye out for one of Australia’s most threatened birds – the Regent honeyeater.

We’ve had two sightings of Regents in the Central Tablelands so far this year and as spring gets going, we expect to find more. 

We’re currently working with the Australian National University and Birdlife Australia, commencing targeted surveys for the species, but we need your eyes too.

There’re so many ways to be involved, click here to find out what your bird spotting style is - ‘nought to novice’ or ‘really top bird’ and how you can get involved in the search for the Regent honeyeater this spring.

Cowra tree day

Last week we teamed up with Cowra Council and Cowra Mountain bike club to help students of St. Raphael’s School plant hundreds of native trees and shrubs around the Cowra Peace Precinct, the adventure playground and the Cowra mountain bike trial. 

Celebrating national tree Day, the students learnt about the different species, the benefits of habitat and vegetation for ecological function whilst having fun and taking ownership of the local environment.

National Tree Day is a call to action for all Australians to put their hands in the earth and give back to their community. Prior to COVID, each year over 300,000 people around Australia would volunteer their time to engage in environmental activities that educate individuals about the need to plant trees in our landscape.

We’re glad that this year we were able to support the Cowra community by providing a range of native species that will benefit future families and communities. 


Are you a producer on the Central Tablelands? Have you signed up to Ag Advice? Our new monthly advisory offers production-based information, advice and updates direct from our District Vets and Agricultural Team. Sign up here

Pasture plant species for wet areas

Many Central Tablelands areas are experiencing wet pasture and soil conditions this season. This is partly due to rainfall, but also due to a lack of evaporation and reduced water use by plants. Low soil and air temperatures are limiting pasture growth, even in the species that can grow at low temperatures such as ryegrass and brome.  

Cold temperatures are also limiting growth and germination in newly sown pastures, with landholders commenting on the slow growth in these paddocks.  

Sometimes these conditions are not immediately evident, but there can be clues in certain ‘indicator’ plants. Some species that we see in our pastures will favour depressions, drainage lines and swampy areas. These include pinrush, sedges, docks, toadrush, yorkshire fog, white clover, fescue and ryegrasses. Some of these species are useful for livestock production and some have alternative value in soil stabilisation and water quality filtering. 

Click to read more about species that are most likely to be found.

Image NSW DPI - toad rush

Investigating lamb losses

Over the past month the veterinary team has taken numerous calls from sheep producers who have discovered stillborn lambs in the paddock or the yards.

We perform a post-mortem on a sample of these lambs and usually submit samples to the laboratory to help us reach a diagnosis. 

Click to read about what we've been diagnosing and associated causes. 

Contact your local District Vet if you have concerns about still born lambs.

Mouse management 

While mice are generally less active over winter, now is a good time to start thinking ahead and planning how you can protect your crops before harvest.  

With mouse numbers likely to increase as we move into spring, the first step in any effective control program is to detect early when populations are increasing in your paddocks. 

You can start this monitoring process now, and the easiest ways to do so is by carrying out active burrow counts and using mouse chew cards. 

To find out more about these techniques, visit our website.

Zinc phosphide for mouse control 

Applications are now open for the NSW Government’s Zinc Phosphide (ZnP) Rebate program.   

Eligible primary producers can apply for a rebate of 50% for the purchase of the critical mouse control chemical zinc phosphide, up to $10,000, to provide financial and cash flow relief.   

Approved applicants can claim for zinc phosphide bought between 1 January 2021 and 17 December 2021 to eradicate mice during the 2021 mouse plague.  

Applications can be made online via the NSW Rural Assistance Authority (RAA) and are open until 17 December 2021. All invoices must be submitted to the RAA by 28 January 2022.   

If you’re not sure whether you qualify under the financial hardship criteria, please apply online to the RAA so they can assess you and provide advice.   

For more information about the rebate guidelines, eligibility criteria and details on how to apply, visit
We are evaluating the support we provided during the recent drought response and invite you to contribute to this process by completing a short survey. This survey aims to capture your feedback on what services you found valuable during the drought and what might be improved.

Your feedback will enable us to review our performance and to improve our drought preparation, response and recovery activities for future droughts. 

Your feedback is really important to us and we appreciate your time in completing this survey which will take no more than 5 minutes. 

Click on the image above to be taken to the survey. The survey closes on 13 August
Watershed Landcare (in collaboration with Central Tablelands Landcare) has a new project to introduce Adaptive Planned Grazing to more landholders in our region, and are inviting local farmers who manage livestock to join them for a free one-day workshop where experienced hosts and trainers will share an introduction to the program in a casual farm setting. 

The NSW Quad Bike Safety Rebate Program has been extended until June 2023! Farming operations are no longer an eligibility requirement, with all NSW registered businesses who own and use a quad bike or side-by-side vehicle for work tasks no eligible to access the rebate.

For decades, those involved in Landcare have testified to a greater sense of self, both physically and mentally, resulting from an enhanced link with their local community and environment.

If you need further encouragement to join your local Landcare group, the newly published findings by KPMG Australia, echo this sentiment with results indicating Landcare volunteers enjoy substantial improvements to their mental and physical wellbeing – with a significant decrease to their healthcare costs. Read more about the results here.

The Australian Government has announced a competitive grants process for innovative projects to manage and prepare for the impacts of drought. 

Innovation is critical to our agriculture sector, and through this fund, the Government is looking for bright sparks with ideas that could transform agricultural practices, technologies and business models to make Australian farmers and communities more resilient to droughts.

The Strengthening Rural Communities (SRC) program aims to give the thousands of small rural, regional and remote communities across Australia an opportunity to access funding to support broad community needs. 

Given the events of summer 2019/20, it has also been expanded to offer funding to support recovery in bushfire-affected communities.

Grants are available for a broad range of grassroots, community-led initiatives that directly and clearly benefit local communities. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis and assessed quarterly.

This round, grants up to $10,000 are available through the Small & Vital Stream, and grants up to $25,000 are available through the Bushfire Recovery Stream.

Landholders wanting to use 1080 and other bait products need to hold current chemical accreditation. This 1080/Pindone half day training course is free. Landholders who complete the course are issued with a certification card allowing them to use 1080, Pindone and PAPP on properties within NSW for the next five years.
Tuesday 10 August – Bathurst
Tuesday 14 September - Bathurst
Friday 24 September - Mudgee

An opportunity for farmers to see technology being used by commercial farm businesses in the paddock. These farms are demonstrating the role of technology to manage climate variability and market risk.
Thursday 12 August - Greenthorpe
Tuesday 24 to Wednesday 25 August - Western
Thursday 16 September - South

Join Phil in comparing the different lime treatments, counting and scoring legume nodules at Toogong. Learn how to nodule score your own legumes. Smoko provided.
Thursday 26 August 

Join Phil in comparing the different lime treatments, counting and scoring legume nodules at Lyndhurst. Learn how to nodule score your own legumes. Smoko provided.
Thursday 9 September

Come join us as we undertake activities to help conserve threatened species of upland swamps in the Newnes Plateau.
Friday 24 September

This field walk aim to help you recognise a greater variety of plants in your paddocks, so you can tailor management actions for a beneficial farm business and environmental outcome.
Friday 24 September – Cowra
Friday 1 October – Eugowra
Friday 15 October – Euchareena
Friday 29 October – Newbridge

Following periods of drought, there are management decisions that will need to be made in order for primary producers to be able to successfully move into a phase of drought recovery and resume normal operations.
Drought recovery hub

Advice on feeding in drought conditions and formulating rations
Drought hub
Drought feeding app
DPI feed cost calculator
Salvaging crops calculator

Information on quality and quantity for your stock
Water requirements for sheep and cattle

All owners have legal and LPA requirements to maintain good animal welfare and should have their own copy of Australian Animal Welfare Standards
Guidelines for sheep and cattle

Look out for yourself, your family and your neighbours. Help is available if needed
Rural Adversity Mental Health Program

For confidential assistance, find your nearest Rural Financial Counsellor
Rural Financial Counselling Service - Central region


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Angus heifers drinking 

Our mailing address is:
112 Market Street | PO Box 31 | MUDGEE NSW 2850

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Copyright © 2021 Central Tablelands Local Land Services, All rights reserved.

The information contained in this publication is based on knowledge and understanding at the time of writing. However, because of advances in knowledge, users are reminded of the need to ensure that the information upon which they rely is up to date and to check the currency of the information with the appropriate officer of Local Land Services or the user’s independent adviser. For updates go to

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Central Tablelands Local Land Services · 112 Market Street · Mudgee, New South Wales 2850 · Australia