Today I announced the establishment of Local Land Services – a new approach to delivering services to farmers and landowners across rural and regional NSW.
One of the clear goals of the Government’s NSW 2021 Plan is delivering quality, customer-focussed services. Local Land Serviceswill deliver this goal with a modern, efficient and flexible approach.
Local Land Services will link productive primary industries to sustainable catchment management by bringing together Livestock Health & Pest Authorities (LHPAs), Catchment Management Authorities (CMAs) and agricultural advisory services within Agriculture NSW to deliver services including:
• Agricultural advice;
• Plant and animal pest control and biosecurity;
• Natural resource management; and
• Emergency and disaster assessment and response.
The time is right to reinvigorate the way the NSW Government connects with farmers and landowners.
Local Land Serviceswill be regionally-based, semi-autonomous, statutory organisations that are governed by locally elected and skills-based Board members.
Local Land Serviceswill:
• Place farmer and landowner needs at the centre of service delivery;
• Enable local management and priority setting;
• Focus on modern and efficient service delivery;
• Streamline governance structures;
• Increase accountability to ratepayers; and
• Connect regional and state-wide priorities.
In realising these goals, we know that staff are our best asset. We also know that the correct structure, governance and operating environment is required to deliver the best possible services.
Local Land Services will help free up staff to work more closely with their communities, encourage innovation, integration and be more accountable to ratepayers.
The decision to create Local Land Services is informed by the recommendations of the 2011-2012 Ryan Review of Livestock Health & Pest Authorities and its extensive public consultation process.
A Reference Panel chaired by Dr John Keniry AM (Natural Resources Commissioner) will be appointed to build the new Local Land Services to deliver valued services to the people of NSW. Mick Keogh, Executive Director of the Australian Farm Institute, will work alongside Dr Keniry and specifically with community groups, stakeholders and staff to develop Local Land Services.
Local Land Services will be fully operational in January 2014.
Throughout the development phase, farmers and landowners will still be able to access existing services from DPI, LHPAs and CMAs.
This is an exciting time as we embark on a new era for primary industries service delivery.
I understand that change can be challenging but I encourage you to remain focused on delivering the best service possible to the State’s farmers and landowners and on our goal of a more modern, efficient and customer focused approach.
Acting DPI Director General Michael Bullen will be in touch shortly to outline how the Department will start work on contributing to the creation of Local Land Services.
The Hon Katrina Hodgkinson MP
Minister for Primary Industries
Minister for Small Business