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First round of Local Land Services rates set to go

Local Land Services has commenced issuing the first rate notices following the transition to the new organisation on 1 January this year.

Starting today, more than 130,000 rate notices will be issued across NSW, raising more than $30 million dollars to ensure important services are provided to support productive agriculture, natural resources, biosecurity and communities across rural and regional NSW.

Chair of Local Land Services Board of Chairs, John Macarthur-Stanham, said ratepayers should view themselves as investors in Local Land Services and take the opportunity to work with their regional Boards to tailor services that will best suit them.

"Local Land Service ratepayers are important investors in our business, contributing a State-wide average of 24 per cent to regional Local Land Services budgets to ensure that these important services are maintained for them," Mr Macarthur-Stanham said.

"Local Land Services has inherited functions from previous bodies, including some agricultural advisory services from the Department of Primary Industries, Livestock Health and Pest Authorities and Catchment Management Authorities, so the services that people have come to expect are still there.

"Our regional Local Land Services boards are fully in place and community consultation is underway to develop Local Strategic Plans. This will give regional boards the autonomy to set priorities in collaboration with the investors, including Local Land Services ratepayers, to deliver a range of services that best suit their regional needs.

"I encourage ratepayers to engage with their Local Land Services to develop products and service that will be valuable to them into the future."

Rate notices are later than usual this year due to required systems modifications. Rates for 2014 have been based on rates charges in 2013 plus a CPI adjustment. This follows a two-year period during which no increases occurred.

The Pest Insect Levy will be collected from ratepayers who contribute. The NSW Government loan used to fund the last significant response has been repaid and this year's levies will ensure immediate action can be taken in the event a response is needed.

The NSW Government has granted Local Land Services rate relief for some ratepayers across NSW as part of broader drought support measures. Local Land Services will apply 6 months of rates relief for all eligible ratepayers, in line with NSW Government support measures.

ENDS

John Macarthur-Stanham           0400 381 170

Jessica Brown                           0438 128 966