Rates frequently asked questions

The NSW Government's Drought Support Package includes the waiving of Local Land Services rates for 2019, 2020 and 2021. Find out more.

About our rates

At Local Land Services, we receive many questions about the rates that farmers and landowners have to pay over time.

These rates work to fund the biosecurity of our land, regional animal health, and emergency work for farmers and landowners.

By paying rates, you have access to our staff and technical specialists with a wealth of local knowledge. You can benefit from their collective knowledge and experience to help with your property, biosecurity, stock, crops and environmental issues.

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Why do I pay rates?

Thank you for protecting the NSW landscape and agricultural industry through your rates.

Your rates fund our biosecurity, animal health and emergency work:

  • coordinating and supporting landholders to control pests and meet your legal obligations
  • our vets’ animal health programs
  • supporting agriculture and animals during emergencies
  • supporting stock identification systems.

The rates you pay mean we can maintain a secure, healthy and productive landscape.

Under the Local Land Services Act 2013, we must charge rates on all parcels of land that are classified as rateable land under the Act.

This is generally land 10 hectares and above (40 hectares in the Western Region and 20 hectares in some parts of Murray and Riverina Regions). They are separate to council rates.

Why do I have a zero balance on my rates notice this year?

Around 130,000 rates notices were sent to NSW ratepayers in March 2021, however, as part of the NSW Government’s $310 million drought relief package announced in 2020, they are not payable again for 2021.

This includes the general rates and rates for animal health and pests, the meat industry levy and costs for routine stock moving permit and stock identification.

You do not need to apply for this exemption as it will be automatically applied to landholders.

The NSW Government will compensate Local Land Services for the lost rates revenue, meaning our staff can continue to support you during this important recovery phase.

What if I have outstanding rates from previous years?

The NSW Government is compensating Local Land Services for the lost rates revenue for 2019, 2020 and 2021. If you have outstanding rates or interest from previous years, you still need to pay these charges. Here are ways you can pay your rates.

When will I start paying rates again?

Following improved seasonal conditions across the vast majority of NSW, rates are expected to return to normal in 2022.

Your rates fund our biosecurity, animal health and emergency work, while also providing you access to our staff, technical experts, programs and training.

What can Local Land Services do for me in the drought?

The NSW government’s commitment to drought recovery means Local Land Services can continue important work to protect NSW from biosecurity threats, help communities during emergencies and keep markets open for NSW produce.

The Local Land Services team is here when it matters, helping you with knowledge, networks and experience.

The work of Local Land Services in maintaining biosecurity and animal health services continues, supported by the government in this time of drought recovery.

Our biosecurity, animal health and emergency response services are part of what we do to protect agriculture and the environment from pests, diseases and environmental threats.

To find out how you can work with Local Land Services contact your local office.

Local Land Services is available to offer ongoing advice for farmers and landholders dealing with drought. We offer hands-on support where possible and endeavour to provide up to date localised information about managing and recovering from drought:

  • our Livestock Officers provide technical advice on feeding and nutrition
  • our District Veterinarians manage and advise on livestock health and welfare
  • our TSR rangers manage permits for grazing on TSRs and roads.

We also assist in administering drought support packages and coordinate and conduct relevant drought workshops with guest speakers, including rural support workers and rural financial counsellors.

Visit your regional page to contact our staff, and find out what events and programs are available.

What else can Local Land Services do for me?

We provide a broad range of services to support landholders in running a productive and healthy landscape.

Some of these services are supported by rates, such as the work of our biosecurity officers and district vets.

Others services such as our agricultural extension and natural resource management work are supported by NSW and Australian Government funding.

Some Local Land Services regions are also supported by local programs and partnerships, such as the Hunter Catchment Contribution.

Across the state, landholder rates make up around 18 per cent of our overall funding.

We give technical advice to help you manage your land

We live and work in regional NSW to provide independent and accessible advice to landholders.

Our specialist staff provide landholders technical support and advice on:

  • how to control priority pest animals and insects, including free/subsidised training and access to baits, traps and chemicals
  • herd health issues
  • agricultural productivity
  • managing native vegetation on your property
  • being prepared for, responding to and recovering from natural disasters
  • vegetation and restoration in bushland and wildlife habitats
  • latest funding opportunities, news and events.

We regularly run free or low-cost workshops, training courses and field days to share leading practice in pest control, agricultural productivity, animal health and natural resource management.

Maintaining market confidence in our agricultural produce

The work of our staff in monitoring and traceability mean that consumers remain confident in Australia’s ‘clean and green’ food reputation.

Export markets remain open and commodity prices can remain strong.

Examples include our work in livestock traceability, our district veterinary officer network and surveillance.

We support regional pest animal management

Our role in pest animal coordination means you have networks, information and advice you need.

You can deliver on your legal responsibility to control priority pests on your land.

Are you a member of your community pest control group? Speak to your local Biosecurity Officer to find out more.

We support you and your animals during emergencies

We are a support agency for agriculture and animals (including companion) under the NSW emergency management framework.

Our staff are trained and in place to help you and your animals prepare, respond and recover.

Likewise, when pest and disease outbreaks happen, we are on the ground to respond.

We help you improve your land and environment

Everyone wants to pass the land to the next generation in a better condition.

Our natural resource management programs support you to manage your land sustainably and improve our environment.

We invest in this work and regional NSW through the support of Catchment Action NSW, the National Landcare Program and other partners.

Touch base with your local Land Services office to see what field days and incentive programs are coming up.

At the end of the day, we provide a broad range of services to support landholders to build a healthy, productive and resilient landscape.

We support you to manage your land, run a healthy enterprise and meet your legal obligations.

Visit your local office or regional website to find out more and sign up to your local newsletter.

Are rates the only source of income for Local Land Services?

Rates are not the only source of income for Local Land Services – they make up less than one quarter of our funding across the state.

We are also funded through the NSW Government, including the Catchment Action NSW program, which provides on-ground programs to support biodiversity, native vegetation, threatened species and Aboriginal cultural heritage initiatives.

The Australian Government also contributes funding through the National Landcare Program, which helps drive sustainable agriculture, as well as supporting the protection, conservation and rehabilitation of Australia’s natural environment.

This funding also supports the activities of community groups, such as Landcare.

We also invest other Government funding programs into regional NSW such as the Drought Recovery Program.

We are also supported by specific programs regionally, such as the Hunter Catchment Contribution in the Hunter region.

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