Early Needs Recovery Program

The $13 million Early Needs Recovery Program is designed to assist primary producers in the most flood-impacted regions and industries of NSW in their recovery from the 2022 NSW severe weather storms and flooding events (AGRN1012).

The impact of the 2022 NSW floods on our primary industries exceeded half a billion dollars, affecting more than 30 industries and 24,000 jobs in the flood impacted areas of the North Coast, Hunter, Greater Sydney, and South-East regions.

The Early Needs Recovery Program will boost the resilience of primary producers, help them to regain lost productivity and ensure they are supported to rebuild, recover, and plan for the future.

What support is available under the Early Needs Recovery Program?

The Early Needs Recovery program will offer a range of opportunities including:

  • targeted specialist support to help primary producer regain productivity
  • landscape scale pest, weed and disease control programs
  • support for flood impacted primary industries to develop and deliver tailored activities to support recovery for primary producers (Industry Grants Program)
  • support for volunteer/not-for-profit organisations to re-establish fence lines on flood affected properties (Fence Rebuilding Program).

Targeted technical support

Under the Early Needs Recovery program, Local Land Services is providing additional specialist support to help producers regain productivity. Local Land Services have recruited additional technical support staff and engaged industry experts to address key flood recovery issues including

  • Pest management
  • Livestock health nutrition and welfare
  • Crop and Pasture recovery
  • Erosion and soil management advice
  • Invasive weed control
  • Plant biosecurity
  • Aquaculture farm management and resilience planning.

Additional targeted support is being delivered through field days, farm walks, workshops, site visits, webinars, one-on-one discussions, and development of resources such as fact sheets.

Read more about how farm visits and tailored workshops helped Upper Hunter producers get back on track.

Landscape scale pest, weed and disease control

The flooding and storm events of 2022 increased the spread of many agricultural weeds, pests and plant and animal disease across impacted landscapes. The continued wet weather and in many instances, challenges faced with access and resources allowed for proliferation in many regions.

Due to the scale of spread, the program is supplying additional resources to:

  • Deliver weed, pest, and disease control programs
  • Conduct weed, pest and disease surveillance
  • Deliver workshops, webinars, field days, road shows and other group/community events
  • Produce communications product such as fact sheets, webinars, podcasts, and other online materials aimed at increasing land managers and farmers awareness of and access to weed, pest and disease control information
  • Provide Grants to appropriate bodies to implement landscape scale pest, weed and disease management (such as Local Control Authorities)
  • Engage contractors to deliver weed, pest, and disease control programs.

Industry grants

The program provides an opportunity for primary industries impacted by flooding and storm events to shape and facilitate tailored projects and activities to ensure the unique and on-going recovery needs of their primary producers are met.

As part of the program, each organisation will deliver a range of targeted activities for their industries including workshops, conferences, and develop educational and capacity building resources. These activities will be used to provide advice and information to farmers on how to recover after flood and how to prepare for future flood events. In some instances, organisations will employ additional recovery support staff to help producers in their recovery journey.

Local Land Services is working closely with the following 12 industry organisations who secured a share of $1.7 million in grant funding:

A further $1.1 million has been allocated to dairy, beef, sugar cane and aquaculture industries for flood recovery support activities to be delivered by NSW Department of Primary Industries and Local Land Services.

Fence Rebuilding Program (not-for-profits) Grants

Volunteer based, not-for-profit organisations have been assisting primary producers with fence removal, repairs, rebuilding and clearing debris as part of the program. Up to $1.195 million in grant funding has been secured by BlazeAid and ShoreTrack who Local Land Services is working with to co-ordinate and complete on ground fencing work.

These organisations and their teams of volunteers have been and will continue to work with local landholders to complete fencing work to help primary producers to regain productivity sooner. It is anticipated up to 660km of damaged fences will be cleared, repaired, and replaced assisting up to 560 primary producers as part of the program.

Extension Round 2 - Fence Rebuilding Program

Following a competitive grant process, BlazeAid has secured funding through Extension Round 2 of the Fencing Program (the program) to co-ordinate and complete on ground fencing work along the east coast of NSW.

BlazeAid will continue to work with local landholders in flood impacted areas to clear debris, remove, repair and replace damaged fences. This important fencing work will be carried out by teams of volunteers and will help primary producers to regain productivity sooner as well as allow them to concentrate on other parts of their business.  

It is anticipated up to 560 primary producers will be assisted as part of the program which will run until April 2024.

Not-for-profit case studies

Read the case study about Ulmarra graziers who has had fence rebuilding support by BlazeAid following the 2022 floods.
Download the Ulmarra case study PDF, 421.07 KB.

ShoreTrack supplied the labour to assist Valla farmers to rebuild and repair fence lines following the 2022 floods on the North Coast.
Read the Valla case study.

Recent work carried out by the Early Needs Recovery Program

October 2023

Some of the recent achievements of the program include:

  • Supporting 327 flood impacted primary producers across multiple industries
  • Continue support of industry and not-for-profit grantees with regular meetings and attendance at events
  • Conducting 1,237 1:1 consultations with primary producers, including 419 with over 60 of the most flood impacted dairy farmers
  • Awarding $3.2 million in grant funding across 3 not-for-profits to carry out fence rebuilding works and 12 industry bodies to organise activities to support recovery and capacity building of their primary producers
  • Supporting 13 primary industries including aquaculture, avocado, beef, bee keeping, berries, dairy, macadamia, pecan, soybean, sugarcane, tea tree, turf, protected cropping (vegetables)
  • Hosting 140 awareness raising and capacity building workshops and events with over 2,180 participants
  • Clearing, repairing, and replacing 127,948m flood damaged fences
  • Carrying out 4,201 weed inspections
  • Conducting 94 investigations for plant pests/diseases
  • Completing 731 lab diagnostic tests across soil, water, feed, and pests, to help diagnose, treat, and manage deficiencies and disease in soil, plants, and animals.

For more of our achievements, download our October dashboard PDF, 104.79 KB.

Watch some of the achievements in the case study videos below.

Upcoming priorities for the program include:

  • Support Local Control Authorities to undertake weed surveillance and control in eligible LGAs in Greater Sydney and South East Local Land Services regions through grants.
  • Support the beef industry through the development of a Foundational Beef course in partnership with NSW DPI.
  • Continue support of Industry and not-for-profit grantees with regular meetings and attendance at events.

Who can apply for the Early Needs Recovery Program?

Primary producers located in the North Coast, Hunter, Greater Sydney, and South East regions are the focus of the program.

The services provided under the Early Needs program will be delivered by Local Lands Services in partnership with industry, not-for-profit organisations, and local control authorities to ensure that the unique recovery needs of the most impacted sectors in these regions are met.

Find out more about the Early Needs Recovery Program

You can get in touch with the team by emailing recovery@lls.nsw.gov.au

Local Land Services is delivering the program in collaboration with the Department of Regional NSW and the NSW Department of Primary Industries. The program is part of the $150 million Primary Industry Support Package which is co-funded by the Australian and NSW governments under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.

The Early Needs Recovery Program is designed to complement existing recovery measures for primary producers in disaster declared regions. Local Land Services offers a range of emergency management advice for individuals and businesses including flood recovery and fire recovery resources.

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