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TSR State Planning Framework

After consultation during late 2015, the NSW Travelling Stock Reserves State Planning Framework 2016–21 has now been published. Local Land Services has released both the framework document and its response to the submissions that were received during public consultation. Both documents can be downloaded:

Frequently asked questions

What is the state planning framework?

The Local Land Services Act 2013 provides an opportunity for a more integrated management process for travelling stock reserves (TSRs). This draft state planning framework has been designed to provide an over-arching structure that will help understand how TSRs are used and what values local communities place on these parcels of land.

The framework will also see 11 regional management plans developed to ensure that production, cultural heritage, recreation and ecological conservation outcomes are taken into consideration.

Why is this framework needed?

Currently, TSR management is in the midst of a highly-evolving governance environment. As part of the comprehensive review of NSW Crown land management that began in 2012, it has been recognised that many TSR are no longer used for their original purpose.

The Crown Lands Management Review Report 2013 suggested that Local Land Services is ideally placed to consider the future management and use of TSRs as it is the body with the greatest interest in the land. This recommendation was seen as an opportunity to return decision making to the local community and to help strengthen local environments. Outcomes from the 2011 TSR conference also push governments and managers to explore alternative uses and revenue streams for public land with multiple uses.

One of the key objectives of this process is to understand the values that stakeholders hold for TSRs and to find a balance between the various uses.

Which TSRs are part of this process?

Only the 492,000 ha of TSRs under the care, control and management of Local Land Services are affected by this process. These are the TSRs gazetted to Local Land Services or previously to the Livestock Health and Pest Authority for the movement of stock and other stock purposes.

This framework does not deal with the 97,490 ha of TSRs under the care, control and management of NSW Department of Primary Industries – Lands (Crown Lands) or to the 1,397,563 ha of TSRs under other tenure (mostly  Western Lands leases).

Are stock watering places affected?

Stock watering places will be considered as active uses of TSRs and will still be given priority for use of this land.

What are active and passive uses of TSRs?

Many TSRs and Crown lands serve multiple purposes. Under this framework, local regions will need to establish the primary use for each reserve so they can plan how to manage it in the future. Uses will be categorised as either active or passive.

Active uses are those that reduce the level of a particular resource and may cause environmental damage.  Active uses include:

  • livestock walking and short or long-term grazing
  • livestock refuge in times of emergency
  • stock watering points (Western Division)
  • bee keeping
  • fire and craft wood collection
  • roadwork stockpiling
  • fishing, trail bike riding and horse riding.

Passive uses do not remove resources from the reserve and do not compromise other uses. However, they may cause conflict, e.g. bird watching is not compatible with mountain bike riding. Passive uses include:

  • environmental conservation
  • cultural heritage conservation
  • biodiversity conservation
  • recreation, such as family barbeques, bird watching and bushwalking
  • signage or advertising.

Will permit conditions change?

Permit conditions may need to be modified where there is a requirement to align operational processes with the TSR State Planning Framework and subsequent regional TSR management plans.

Will permit fees change?

TSR permit fees will not change at this stage. However, the ultimate goal is for the management of TSRs to be cost neutral. Local Land Services is expected to impose fees on Crown land users to help pay for the continued management of those lands. However, we recognise that low-impact or passive uses do not have the same potential to generate funds as active uses and that some external funding will be needed to support the management of reserves that are used primarily for passive uses.

Specific funding may be available at time for work to address priority issues such as pest animal control, while there is also a strong case for some ongoing public investment to ensure that conservation values are managed and sustained into the future.

Will more long-term permits be allowed?

The draft framework will allow regions to assess and allocate land for various types of management and uses. Where land capability is suitable, long-term grazing is a potential use in areas where other TSR values are not likely to be adversely impacted.

Will the area available to stock be reduced?

The first priority is to maintain TSRs for travelling stock – so long as the reserves are fit for that purpose. This framework is not about reducing the area available for stock but about balancing the  many and varied values that these important assets hold, including biodiversity and Aboriginal cultural heritage values, as well as support for other agricultural production and recreation uses.

When will regional plans be developed?

This is the first Local Land Services statewide planning framework. It is expected to begin from 1 July 2016 and be operational for five years. During that time, each of the 11 Local Land Services regions will develop its own regional management plan.

Those regional plans will allow more consistent and transparent management, resourcing and reporting and will give each Local Land Services region the flexibility to meet its own needs and priorities. Regional management plans will be developed once the statewide framework is in place. They should operate from 2016 to 2019.

How will short-term issues be addressed?

Short-term operational or works plans will be developed in response to particular local issues, such as weed or pest animal control or in response to an emergency when stock need refuge.

Will leases be extended?

Based on the recommendations and knowledge of local boards, we will lengthen some longer-term grazing permits from annual to up to five year leases. This will reduce administration and increase maintenance and biodiversity outcomes.