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. Primary producers located in these regions are the focus of the program.

The services provided under the Early Needs program are being delivered by Local Lands Services in partnership with Department of Primary Industries, 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.

The Early Needs Recovery Program has been working toward providing on-ground support and services to assist primary producers regain lost productivity following the severe weather and flood events in February and March 2022.

Program outcomes

Key program outcomes as of April 2024:

left hand column with icons and right hand column with text. Text states, 2807, primary producers supported, $3,240,535 grant funding awarded, 13 primary industries supported, 1,649 1:1 consultations with primary producers and 327 awareness raising and capacity building events.

What support is available under the Early Needs Recovery Program?

The Early Needs Recovery program offers a range of opportunities including:

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.

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.

Related resources

  • Theileria information session Theileriosis As Much As We Know provides an overview of Theileria infections and the disease process in cattle, the bush tick vector, current research findings and use of integrated parasite management in Theileria affected areas.
  • Worm Control in Livestock video that provides insights into common intestinal worms in sheep, goats and cattle.

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 and has achieved the following as of April 2024 in landscape scale pest, weed and disease control:

  • 6,365 weed inspections carried out throughout flood impacted regions
  • 787 lab diagnostics tests conducted (soil, water, feed, pest) to help diagnose, treat and manage deficiencies
  • 12,761 ha of weed surveillance and control
  • 168,866 ha controlled for vertebrate pests
  • $2,008,062 delivered to Local Control Authorities to undertake weed surveillance, control and awareness
  • 150 investigations for plant pests/diseases.

Map of NSW divided into the Local Control Authorities areas indicating the geographic location of the individual councils where the weed management program was undertaken across the state. Local Control Authorities supported: Bellingen Shire Council, Camden Council, Clarence Valley Council, Eurobodalla Shire Council, Goulburn Mulwaree Council, Hawkesbury City Council, Kempsey Shire Council, Nambucca Shire Council, Port Macquarie Hastings Council, Rous Country Council, Wollondilly Shire Council.
Local Land Services Early Needs Recovery Program. Weed Management Program.

Industry support

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 bodies that have received grants representing 9 industries:

The industry grant program has achieved the following as of April 2024:

  • 229 awareness raising/ capacity building events with 1,330 participants
  • 336 communication products developed
  • 497 1:1 landholder consultations with over 60 of the most flood impacted dairy farmers
  • 2,751 flood impacted Primary Producers supported
  • $1,358,632 delivered to Industry bodies in grant funding.

Map of NSW divided into the areas indicating where the count of recipients are geographically located as part of the industry grant project. The grant projects have occurred in the North Coast, Hunter, Greater Sydney and South East Local Land Services Regions. Industries supported include: Australian Macadamia Society, Australian Pecan Association, Australian Tea Industry Association, Berries Australia, North Coast Oli Seed Growers Association, NSW Apiarists Association, NSW Farmers Association, Oceanwatch, Protected Cropping Australia, Seafood Industry Australia, South Coast Wilderness Oysters, Turf Producers Australia.
Local Land Services Early Needs Recovery Program location of Industry Grant Recipients.

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.

The dairy industry is being supported directly by Local Land Services through one-on-one consultations with consultants. The beef industry is being supported directly by Local Land Services and Department of Primary Industries with the beef fundamentals course and upskilling of staff. Department of Primary Industries are supporting horticulture industries through plant pest and disease investigations and developing a best practice guidelines to manage steep slope erosion.

Dairy farmers from some of the most flood impacted regions in NSW have been able to access this targeted technical support and tailored advisory services to help with their recovery. The Early Needs Recovery Program has seen 45 dairy farmers in the North Coast and Hunter regions receive multiple one-on-one consultations with industry recognised consultants following the February 2022 floods. Consultations have been crucial in supporting dairy farmers’ decision making to enable a faster recovery and to reposition themselves to manage their business into the future. The advice was tailored to each dairy farm and the specific needs of the owner’s business to aid recovery.

Read more about how the Early Needs Recovery Program has provided industry support:

Fence Rebuilding Program (not-for-profits) Grants

Volunteer based, not-for-profit organisations have assisted primary producers with flood damaged fence removal, repairs, rebuilding and clearing of debris as part of the Fence Rebuilding Program.

Over $1.1 million in grant funding was secured by BlazeAid and ShoreTrack who worked with Local Land Services to co-ordinate and complete on ground fencing projects.

These organisations and their teams of volunteers worked with landholders to complete fencing work allowing them to regain productivity sooner. As a result, 173 km of damaged fences have been cleared, repaired or replaced to assist 78 primary producers.

The Fence Rebuilding Program is now complete and has supported 78 primary producers and utilised 726 volunteers to:

  • remove 41 km of debris
  • remove 50 km of damaged fences
  • repair 22.5 km of damaged fences
  • rebuild 60 km of damaged fences.

The Program has supported primary producers in the following Local Government Areas:

  • Bellingen
  • Nambucca
  • Tenterfield
  • Port Macquarie/Hastings
  • Lismore
  • Richmond Valley
  • Kyogle
  • Clarence Valley

Map of NSW divided into the areas indicating where the count of projects has geographically occurred as part of the Not-For-Profit Fence Rebuilding Project. The projects have occurred in the North Coast and Hunter Local Land Services Regions. The Not-for-Profit Project included all funding rounds; Primary producers supporters is 78, Volunteers 726 counted, Debris removed 41,281m, Fence removal 50,094m, Fence repairs 22,480m, Fence rebuilt/replaced 59,724m, Total metres fenceline 173,579m.
Local Land Services Early Needs Recovery Program Not-For-Profit Fence Rebuilding Project.

ShoreTrack is a hands-on skills-based organisation providing pathways to employment for young people through social enterprise. Through the Fence Rebuilding program ShoreTrack not only supported primary producers to recover from devastating floods but also provided hands on training for their young participants.

BlazeAid is a volunteer-based organisation working with families and individuals in rural Australia after natural disasters. BlazeAid is continuing to support fence rebuilding in the Lismore Local Government Area. To express your interest in becoming a volunteer with BlazeAid visit their website.

Not-for-profit case studies

Read the case study about Ulmarra graziers who has had fence rebuilding support from 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 .

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

Upcoming priorities for the program include:

  • support our delivery partners to implement final activities and close out projects
  • continue to support the beef industry with the ongoing upskilling of Local Land Services agricultural advisory and animal health staff to enable them to provide them most up to date advice to producers
  • develop communication products to extend the knowledge gained under the program to more producers beyond the life of the project
  • participate in the Outcome Evaluation of the program.

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.

Related information