Projects and programs

We work with land managers, the community and our partners to make a difference to the Hunter region, its production industries, the environment and our community. Below are a few of the projects we run than you may be interested in.

Natural resource management and biodiversity programs

Updated August 2021

The NRM team in Hunter LLS works to deliver a variety of programs supporting NRM and native flora and fauna recovery and conservation programs at a landscape scale, to protect some of our most unique threatened species, threatened ecological communities and vegetation, important Ramsar wetlands and World Heritage Areas. Current projects include:

  • Threatened Species and Habitats Projects (National Landcare Program)
    • Box Gum Woodland- Upper Hunter
    • Regent Honeyeater, Swift Parrot and woodland birds- Hunter Valley
    • Eastern Curlew and Shorebirds-Manning, Port Stephens and Hunter estuaries
    • Australasian Bittern-Cattai and Hunter Wetlands
    • Bushfire Wildlife and Habitat Recovery-Mid Coast and Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage and adjoining refugia
    • Koala Bushfire and Habitat Recovery- Mid Coast and Lower Hunter
  • Weeds in Box Gum Grassy Woodlands Project (MACH Energy)
  • Natural Resource Management (NRM) Services (State Government)
  • Halls Creek Catchment Improvement Project (Glencore)
  • Paxton (Quorrobolong and Congewai Creek) Catchment Improvement Project (Hunter Water)

Read more about natural resource management programs in the Hunter.

Hunter Catchment Contributions

Catchment contributions are collected to provide a coordinated approach to the extensive problems of natural resource conservation in the Hunter valley catchment and to undertake flood mitigation works. The revenue generated from this levy enables Hunter Local Land Services to meet its legislative obligations under the Water Management Act 2000, as well as meeting resource condition and management targets in the Hunter LLS Local Strategic Plan.

Read more about Hunter Catchment Contributions.

Climate Ready Aquaculture

The Climate Ready Aquaculture Project will help oyster and fishing industries adapt to climate change, by optimising farming methods. The project will support oyster farmers in the Wallis, Port Stephens and Manning estuaries, to transition to more sustainable and productive growing methods, reducing waste generation and improving estuarine habitats and fisheries production.

Oyster farmers will be supported to develop individual oyster farm profiles that map and describe oyster infrastructure types and condition. Farm profiles enable oyster farmers to adapt to climate change whilst improving productivity, profitability and sustainability. Assistance for implementing priority actions identified in oyster farm profiles will be provided through small incentive grants.

Read more about climate ready aquaculture.

Hunter Smarter Farming: Irrigating For Profit

The Hunter Smarter Farming: Irrigating for Profit project aims to improve the capabilities of the Hunter’s dairy irrigators to increase profits by optimising dry matter production and utilisation throughout the irrigation season, concentrating on efforts to start irrigation at the right time and rate to avoid ongoing seasonal soil moisture deficit.

Read more about the Hunter smarter farming project.

Landcare in the Hunter

The Landcare community encompasses:

  • landcare groups
  • 'friends of' groups and other community environment groups
  • farmers
  • producer groups
  • farm foresters
  • schools
  • Indigenous communities and organisations
  • individual land managers.

Many Hunter groups identify themselves as "landcarers", even though they may not always have "Landcare" in their group's name.

Read more about Landcare in the Hunter.

Professional Wild Dog Controller Program

The Professional Wild Dog Controller Program is a joint effort between the Hunter Valley Combined Wild Dog Association (containing 11 member organisations), Hunter Local Land Services and a number of major stakeholder investors, working with landholders across a diverse landscape and tenure to protect livestock in the Upper Hunter.

The four-year program will expand on present control arrangements and integrate with existing local wild dog management plans.

Read more about the professional wild dog controller program.

Hunter Regional Pest Animal Committee

One of the key actions from the NSW Government's response to the Natural Resource Commission's review of pest animal management was the implementation of 11 regional pest animal committees and 11 regional pest animal management plans.

The Hunter Regional Pest Animal Committee is tasked with encouraging cross tenure pest animal management, developing local pest animal management plans, consulting with stakeholders and advising the State Pest Animal Committee.

The committee has 10 members selected by relevance of their sector to pest animal management and is supported by working groups on specific issues.

Read more about the Hunter regional pest animal committee.

Soil Moisture Network project

The Hunter Soil Moisture Network is a new initiative to provide landholders with soil moisture information to enable better property management. It will increase landholders confidence in decision making across critical times of the year. The network provides real time data to support farmers to make decisions around management of climatic variability, natural resource management and seasonal conditions.

The network includes nine strategically positioned soil moisture probes across the Upper Hunter. Each probe is set to one meter depth and measures soil moisture and temperature every 15 minutes.

Read more about the soil moisture network project.

The Paddock Between The Ears

Leveraging social capital to build natural capital

The Paddock Between the Ears is an innovative new Hunter LLS program jointly funded by the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund, supporting land managers to improve drought planning and farm production outcomes. The program is focused on building drought resilience across our region, sharing ideas for setting goals and adapting, changing mindsets to challenge how we manage our water and natural assets on-farm to prepare for dry times. The Paddock Between the Ears team is establishing Eco-Action sites to showcase small farm-makeover projects where one small decision to improve the condition of a natural resource, can drive change. Landholders can apply for small grants through the Farm Makeover Incentive Program to get started on their own drought planning project or follow the program journeys on Hunter LLS Facebook and YouTube channels to pick up practical tips and advice.

Read more about The Paddock Between the Ears program

The Hunter Local Land Services Poddy

Our Podcast covers the latest advice, support and services from Hunter Local Land Services. This includes conversations with our customers, partners and other agencies as well as relevant presentations from recent events. We provide support to customers in Animal Health, Biosecurity, agricultural management and production, natural resource management as well as connecting with services and support available to our community.

Listen to the Hunter LLS Poddy.

Every Bit Counts - supporting small farms and lifestyle blocks

The Every Bit Counts project is for small landholders looking to improve their land, production capacity and environment. The project will give you the information, connections and inspiration to make a difference to your land.

Read more about the Every Bit Counts project.

Hunter region marine debris monitoring program

The Marine Debris Monitoring Program (MDMP) provides a framework to support the design and implementation of monitoring by individuals and community organisations in the Hunter region and has the following features:

  • Monitoring which facilitates prevention and early interception of litter
  • Monitoring opportunities which promote community initiative and ownership
  • The integration of removal, mitigation and prevention activities into the monitoring process
  • A model which enables the program to be replicated in other regions

The ultimate aim of the program is to reduce the impact of marine debris on our environment, especially the death and injury of vertebrate marine life. Individuals and organisations are very welcome to participate in the program.

For more information contact

Mt Breckin Project

Hunter Local Land Services (HLLS) is working with landholders in the Mount Breckin area, near Vacy, to reduce pests and weeds, address minor erosion issues and to generally improve and learn more about the biodiversity values that Mount Breckin holds.

The Mount Breckin Project is supported through funding provided through the NSW Environmental Trust and Hunter Local Land Services. This is the first newsletter for this Project. These newsletters aim to keep local landholders and community members, with an interest in Mount Breckin, informed of project activities as they progress.

Update 1

Update 2

Update  3

4 Valleys Program

Hunter Local Land Services and Hunter Water Corporation are collaborating to deliver a long-term project for landholders in the drinking water catchments of the Paterson, Allyn, Chichester and Williams River valleys. Our aim is to safeguard water quality and environmental values while enhancing farm productivity and profitability.

Read more about the 4 Valleys Program

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