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Board meeting - 19 February 2015

The eighth meeting of the Hunter Local Land Services (HLLS) Board was held in Speers Point.

Susan Hooke chaired the meeting. Board members in attendance were Ron Campbell, Ted Laurie, Tony Hegarty, Daryl Dutton, Peter Bishop Jnr and James Clark.

HLLS support staff were also present.

General Manager Performance Agreement

The Board received and provided comment to the Chair on the draft Performance Agreement for the General Manager.

Community Advisory Group

The Board provided feedback on the Lower Hunter Community Advisory Group meeting and informal community session held the previous day, and acknowledged the high calibre of preparation and implementation by the Lower Hunter District Team.

The Board provided additional feedback from the Upper Hunter Community Advisory Group (held in December 2014) and suggested a number of improvements to the format to generate additional value for members of the advisory group.

Agricultural Extension

The Board discussed agricultural extension approaches to be included in an HLLS service delivery strategy. This will be further discussed at the next Board workshop in March. The board noted the state wide work underway to have a clear strategy for agricultural extension and agreed on the need to align the state and regional approaches.

Board members identified considerations and options relating to the role of Hunter Local Land Services (LLS) in extension delivery, including repackaging existing extension information and informing research priorities

Wild Dogs

The Board was presented with the progress in implementation of the HLLS Wild Dog Strategy. The Board noted progress in strengthening cross-tenure approaches via collaborative work with National Parks and Wildlife Service in developing spatially (map based) approaches to developing wild dog management plans.

The Board noted recent feedback from the Hunter Valley Combined Wild Dog Association regarding the effectiveness of current control programs and the currently low numbers of stock losses being incurred. The Board raised concerns that the economic costs from wild dog losses are likely to be underestimated.

Weeds Review

The Board discussed the outcomes of recent meetings between the General Manager and our region's Weed Coordination Committees, on the current NSW weed reform process. The Board affirmed the approach to build on partnerships and elements of current weed coordination activities which are working well.

Reports

  • The Board reviewed and approved the reports from the General Manager which included implementation progress and planned activities/issues across business areas of biosecurity, natural resource management, agricultural extension and emergency management.
  • The Board reviewed and approved the Business and Finance report which included budget, financial statements, business systems, human resources and fleet information. The Board noted significant progress in the quality of analysis and presentation in the finance report.
  • The Board reviewed and approved the Work Health and Safety report, and noted significant improvement in meeting WHS reporting standards.
  • The Board received the report from the Audit and Risk Committee.