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Local Land Services rates in the post

Local Land Services has begun issuing rate notices for the 2015 year.  
More than 130,000 rate notices are being issued to Local Land Services ratepayers, raising
approximately $31.5 million for communities across NSW. 

Rates notices for the Western Local Region were posted on Wednesday, 8 April. Local Land Services Western Region Acting General Manager, Erlina Compton said ratepayers were important investors, contributing nine per cent of budgeted funding in the Western Local Region. 

"Rates are used by Local Land Services to finance biosecurity services to landholders which include activities related to the control of declared pest animals and insects, the provision of animal health services, stock identification systems and emergency management assistance for drought and other natural disaster relief such as bushfires and floods," Ms Compton said. 

Rates continue to be allocated to those areas they have historically funded. In particular, rates
fund 100% of biosecurity functions, providing insurance against pests, disease and maintaining
vital market access for producers. 

Recent examples in the Western Local region include our wild dog control programs and the
feral pig control programs that are currently in the planning stage. 

In addition to rates, the NSW Government contributes funding for core functions and on-ground
programs to support biodiversity, native vegetation, threatened species and Aboriginal cultural
heritage results. 

The Australian Government also contributes funding to support sustainable agriculture as well as
supporting the protection, conservation and rehabilitation of Australia's natural environment.

As a result, the contribution of each investor is leveraged multiple times so the rates our customers pay work harder for the health and profitability of their land and businesses. 

In recognition of the seasonal conditions impacting rural and regional communities in 2014, a
waiver was applied to last year's rates, which accounted for $6.5 million of the $30 million drought relief package provided by the NSW Government. 

While some ratepayers may still be compromised by seasonal conditions, the rating amounts
have been restored to normal values to ensure that services are of the highest standard. 

The NSW Government made an additional $20 million in drought support available under the
Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate Scheme. 

The scheme assists farmers to become more drought resilient, while providing water for emergency animal welfare requirements. Details are available from the Rural Assistance Authority.

Media contact:
Donna Ambler 0400 258 690
Erlina Compton 02 6881 3435 0458 944 614