Taxing time for man on the land, but farmers given a helping hand

BAH: Land service staff have started issuing rates notices to landholders.
BAH: Land service staff have started issuing rates notices to landholders.

THIS winter is expected to be tight for farmers, but the Central Tablelands Local Land Service will use rates to help producers in the coming months.

Central Tablelands land service chair Ian Armstrong said while farmers in Mudgee and Oberon had experienced a difficult season, Orange farmers had been spared the worst of the pain due to recent rainfall.

“We had a particularly good autumn, but that has to continue,” he said.

Mr Armstrong expected the coming months to be tough unless rain continued.

“We’re the flattest and the lowest and the hottest and the driest continent on earth and we forget that sometimes,” he said.

“We need to keep the soil as moist as possible, not only for the pasture, but also for the fruit crops and we hope for an early spring at that.”

Land services staff have started issuing rates notices to landholders after it took on some of the functions of the Department of Primary Industries, Livestock Health and Pest Authority and Catchment Management Authority on January 1 - the notices have been sent later than usual due to the changeover.

The 130,000 rate notices issued across NSW will be charged based on land values and will include a consumer price index increase following two years of no rises.

They will raise more than $30 million to support productive agriculture, natural resources and biosecurity.

Mr Armstrong said the land service would work with landholders to address wild dogs, which pose a risk to livestock during the spring lambing and calving season.

Other programs are yet to be announced.

The head of the Local Land Services Board of Chairs, John Macarthur-Stanham, said ratepayers should view themselves as investors and work with their regional boards to tailor services to best suit them.