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Hunter Local Land Services reaching out to semi-rural communities

Hunter Local Land Services is working with local councils to bridge the city-country divide by engaging with the region’s semi-rural communities to help them meet their responsibilities to tackle weeds and pest animal control.

Towns and cities across the region are expanding, with landholders facing issues with invasive weeds and pests such as foxes, rabbits and wild dogs – which have devastating impacts on native species, livestock and domestic pets. Hunter Local Land Services wants to work with these communities to help them understand their biosecurity responsibilities and help reduce the incursion of feral species into urban areas.

Peri-urban officer Carolyn Jenkinson said Hunter Local Land Services, in partnership with local councils will be hosting a series of workshops in 2018 to help reach out to these residents.

“We understand not everyone living on the fringe of local towns may be rural producers, but we want to help them manage pest animals and weeds to safeguard the region’s valuable agricultural sector and our natural environments,” said Ms Jenkinson.

“Many people who move to rural lifestyle blocks may not be aware of the threats posed by pest animals and weeds, and we want to help them understand their responsibilities as landowners under recent biosecurity reforms.

“Our region is only growing and we all need to work together to protect Australia’s clean, green image.”

The events are funded by Hunter Catchment Contributions, which are paid by all local government ratepayers in the region.

“Residents can come along to one of our workshops and hear from the local council’s weed officer about problem weeds in their area, and best control methods,” she said.

“They can even bring weeds from their property and we will identify them and offer management solutions.

“Our biosecurity rangers and district veterinarian will also explain your responsibilities in controlling pest animals and reporting livestock diseases.

“There will also be opportunities to join local control programs for wild dogs, foxes and rabbits.”

The next workshop is being held with Port Stephens Council at Salt Ash on Monday 26 February.

Cessnock City Council will then co-host a workshop with Hunter Local Land Services at Pokolbin on Thursday 8 March.

An event with Lake Macquarie City Council is planned for 31 May 2018.

RSVPs are essential for all events. For more information please contact Carolyn Jenkinson on 4355 8205 or 0408 162 174.