Drought and emergency response coordination a central feature for Local Land Services
16 January 2014
Local Land Services (LLS) has further strengthened its state-wide emergency response and seasonal condition coordination capacity, with the announcement that Tim Johnston will join the Board of Chairs Executive Support unit.
From Monday 20th January, the former Livestock Heath and Pest Authority CEO will be working with staff in the LLS Regions and the Department of Primary Industries, including biosecurity, agriculture and Rural Assistance Authority, to ensure that LLS provides a consistent and coordinated approach to its roles in biosecurity and emergency management responses, as well as implementing NSW Government policies in relation to changing seasonal conditions, including drought.
John Macarthur-Stanham, Chair of the LLS Board Chairs, says that while LLS is very much focussed on local service delivery, in the case of emergency situations it needs the ability to provide a well coordinated response.
"As we move away from exceptional circumstances and towards a new model of drought preparedness, the need to provide authorities with timely information on drought development and changing seasonal conditions is more important than ever.
"LLS' ability to provide consistent and timely input and information to decision makers on these key issues will be significantly boosted by Tim's appointment," said Mr Macarthur-Stanham.
David Palmer, Chair of the Regional Assistance Advisory Committee, says that the appointment of Tim Johnston to coordinate intelligence on seasonal conditions from around the state was welcomed.
"Timely, consistent and evidence based information about changing seasonal conditions from LLS field staff in the regions is a crucial piece of the puzzle in developing a state wide picture.
"This will allow us to combine the seasonal forecasting information coordinated by Agriculture NSW with groundtruthed regional information to provide the best possible advice to the NSW Government and to our farmers in NSW, including the production of seasonal conditions reports by each LLS region which will become an important tool to help landholders manage operations and prepare for worsening seasonal conditions and drought.
"Tim's networks and experience in the field will be a valuable addition to LLS and the Committee looks forward to working with him." said Mr Palmer.
The appointment has also been welcomed by Biosecurity and Agriculture NSW, who will work with LLS staff across the state to provide coordinated support for biosecurity and natural disaster emergencies.
Tim Johnston will be based in the Orange office of the Local Land Services Board of Chairs Executive Support unit and will be meeting with key staff and stakeholders over coming weeks.