MOVING to allay concerns for the roll-out of freshly-minted land clearing reforms, NSW government has announced a $28 million funding boost for the Local Land Services (LLS) agency.
Landholders welcomed the Coalition’s new regime, when it passed parliament earlier this month, but doubts were cast over LLS’ capacity to handle the anticipated load of new inquiries about how to use the new regulations.
Today, NSW Primary Industries Minister Niall Blair announced a freshly-funded Sustainable Land Management Office, housed within LLS, will be set up with 100 staff to implement the reforms.
LLS has drawn criticism over its three year life, with unfavourable comparisons to the Livestock Health and Pest Authority and Catchment Management Authority it replaced. But now there are high hopes within government that the upcoming spate of consultation can increase the ratepayer body’s engagement with stakeholders.
“The staff of LLS will be at the frontline of rebuilding the trust with our farming sector, and delivering improved biodiversity outcomes – that’s why the NSW government is providing the necessary funding to support them in achieving that objective,” Mr Blair said.
The staff of LLS will be at the frontline of rebuilding the trust with our farming sector
As the reform package was developed, speculation mounted over which agency would police the land clearing laws. But legislation tabled in parliament confirmed the Office of Environment and Heritage would continue its role as compliance monitor.
“I look forward to Local Land Services getting these new senior staff in place as quickly as possible, so they can begin building their teams and getting boots on the ground. They will have a critical role to play in driving the roll-out and implementation of the reforms,” Mr Blair said.
Advertisements have been placed for a group director of the Sustainable Land Management Office, as well as directors of business services, policy and applied science and regional services. Senior staff are expected to be in place early in the new year.