LLS needs the numbers so it can help in emergencies

The annual return helps Local Land Services help farmers.
The annual return helps Local Land Services help farmers.

Local Land Services is urging landholders to act on their Annual Land and Stock Returns which should be landing in mailboxes this week and need to be submitted by August 31.

The annual returns are a statutory requirement but and the data provided ensures LLS customers get the help they need when emergencies or disasters strike.

"We're urging landholders to complete their Annual Land and Stock Return online, because that's the quickest way to ensure we can respond swiftly and accurately when needed,"LLS Business Partner, Emergency Management, Steve Eastwood said.

"Landholders can help us help them in an emergency or biosecurity event," he said.

The information gathered builds a picture of agricultural land use and livestock numbers across NSW and assists in monitoring flocks and herds for emergency animal diseases.

"We understand circumstances change over a 12 month period, and after a hard few years, reporting livestock figures can be confronting, especially when landholders have destocked due to drought, fire or flood," Dr Eastwood said.

The livestock figures that landholders provide on their return do not affect the amount they pay in rates.. LLS rates are calculated on a property's Notional Carrying Capacity.

Executive Director Regional Operations, Rob Kelly, said it is vital that LLS has accurate, up-to date information so it can best deliver services.

"It may not be top of every landholder's to-do list right now, but we need all returns so we can understand what's happening on the ground across the state," he said.

"In an emergency situation like last summer's fires, our team will be supporting landholders as well as other agencies and suppliers to roll out an enormous amount of practical help, as well as information and advice," he said.

The online submission process is straightforward and helps reduce face to face contact with LLS and mail service staff, although postal lodgement is still available.