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Our board

Western Local Land Services is governed by a board of local people.

Board members work closely with landholders and local communities to identify and deliver services that are relevant to local needs.

Local boards are comprised of a mix of Ministerially-appointed and elected board members who bring a wealth of skills, experience and commitment to the organisation.

The Chair and four board members are appointed by the Minister for Primary Industries – the remaining four board members are elected by Local Land Services ratepayers.

Together they focus on the strategic direction of the organisation, promoting the services offered, encouraging partnerships and building strong relationships with investors while also communicating the priorities and concerns of customers to local boards.

Section 29 of the Local Land Services Act 2013 sets out the functions of local boards. They are legally binding and should be interpreted as the definitive reference regarding the role of local boards.

Chair

Ben Barlow, Corowa

Ben is an experienced farmer and grazier with executive banking and finance experience who specialises in agribusiness investment. He was a Ministerially-appointed member of the inaugural Western Local Board.

Appointed Board members

Magnus Aitken, Conargo

Magnus has a passion for rural, regional and remote Australia and a desire to contribute to the future sustainability and success of regional NSW. He is currently the manager of a large pastoral operation near Conargo and has an established track record as a company director with Jemalong Irrigation. Magnus is a fellow of the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation and a graduate of the Murray-Darling Basin Leadership Program.

Nicole Byrnes, Pooncarie

Nicole is a land manager on her family-run farm enterprise in the Pooncarie region and currently the Executive Officer for the Society of Precision Agriculture Australia. She has been involved with agricultural project management for the past decade. Since completing her PhD in wine grape physiology, Nicole worked in state government roles, before moving into extension management for the not-for-profit sector.

Justin McClure, Tilpa

Justin lives and works on 90,000 hectares of certified organic land on the Darling River near Tilpa. His family operate grazing, white dorper sheep, cattle, farming and tourism operations and he is passionate about ensuring the long-term sustainability of the Western region and its rivers and communities. Justin served as a board member of the Western Catchment Management Authority and was also a member of the inaugural Western Local Board.

Marie Russell AM, Cobar

Marie is well known in the Western region and across NSW for her services to rural communities. She owns and manages "Old Budda Station" in partnership with her children at Tilpa on the Darling River. In 2006 Marie was acknowledged in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list (AM) for her services to NSW rural communities through a range of organisations involved in environmental, conservation, mental health and drought assistance. Marie is Chairperson of the NSW Centre of Rural and Remote Mental Health and was also a member of the inaugural Western Local Board.

Elected Board members

Neill Leigo, Wanaaring

Neill is a grazier who operates "Allundy Station" near Wanaaring.  He has been active in numerous community organisations, including being on the Wanaaring Rural Lands Protection Board / Darling Livestock Health and Pest Authority for 19 years, 14 years on the Wild Dog Destruction Board and 36 years in the Wanaaring Bush Fire Brigade.

He is a founding member of Wanaaring Bestprac Group and Wattle Vale Area Rangecare Group.

Kate McBride, Wentworth

Kate was born and brought up on "Tolarno Station" - a property that runs purebred merinos, cattle and goats and is located below the Menindee Lakes. She is a fifth generation farmer and has been heavily involved in agriculture from a very young age. Kate is currently studying at the University of Adelaide as well as being a River Fellow through the Lifeblood Alliance in which she is fighting for a healthy Murray-Darling system with individuals from across the basin.

Andrew Mosely, Cobar

Andrew runs the family pastoral property "Etiwanda" south of Cobar. The business is based around low-input red meat production, running a white dorper stud and commercial meat sheep operation, cattle and goats. Andrew was a board member of the Western Catchment Management Authority from 2004 and was vice chair from 2008. Andrew has also held positions on the Invasive Native Scrub Advisory Committee and the Sheep Genetics Australia Committee.

Robert Wason, Brewarrina

Robert is a grazier in the Western Division of NSW and has lived in the Brewarrina district for 45 years. Robert served six years on the Pastures Protection Board in Brewarrina and four years as Chairman of the Darling Livestock Health and Pest Authority.
Robert was an inaugural member of the Western Local Board in 2014 and a is a current member of the Wild Dog Destruction Board.