Local Land Services
Local Land Services (LLS) are the new regional service delivery bodies that will replace Catchment Management Authorities, Livestock Health & Pest Authorities and incorporate agricultural advisory services currently provided by Agriculture NSW. Local Government NSW (LGNSW) understands councils are watching the emergence of LLS closely and have represented council interests in these developments.
To see LGNSW's response to the LLS Board of Chair's submission click here and for more information, see the section - IPART Review of LLS Funding Framework and Submissions below.
In January 2014, LLS will be regionally-based, semi-autonomous bodies governed by a skills-based Board, delivering services for farmers, landowners and the community.
In late May 2013 the NSW Government announced that LLS will include:
- 11 regions (generally aligned with Local Government Area boundaries).
- Regional Boards with seven members (four Government appointed and three ratepayer elected).
- Interim regional boards of four appointed members will be established by late 2013.
- The three elected members will be appointed following elections in early 2014.
- Western LLS will have five appointed and four elected members to account for its size.
- Interim Regional Chairs will be appointed for three years in June/July 2013.
- A state-wide Board of Chairs (including all regional Chairs and an independent Chair).
Some of the funding arrangements announced include:
- That the final details of funding frameworks will be finalised after the completion of a major review being undertaken by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (see below).
- The establishment of a $35 million LLS future fund (from cash reserves held previously by LHPAs and CMAs) to be made available to regional LLS boards.
- An additional $5 million (from savings made by removing duplication) for agricultural advisory and extension services by regional LLS Boards.
Download a map of the new local land services regions (PDF, 2.3MB)
IPART Review of LLS Funding Framework and Submissions
The NSW Government has commissioned the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal of NSW (IPART) to undertake a review into the funding framework for Local Land Services (LLS) and to develop a cost recovery framework and complimentary pricing system for use by LLS.
Recommendations in IPART's draft report
In its draft report, IPART makes a number of recommendations on the LLS funding framework including a cost recovery framework targeted at recovering costs from those parties responsible for LLS undertaking an activity and collection mechanism where LLS collect fees, charges and rates by way of an efficient, centralised billing system.
LGNSW submissions to IPART
LGNSW made two submissions to IPART on its proposals:
For more information, see the IPART Review.
Submission by LLS Board of Chairs
In its response, LGNSW strongly opposes a proposal by the LLS Board of Chairs that recommends that councils be required to collect or pay LLS rates in respect to land below two hectares. LGNSW also objects to the proposal to make council land holdings subject to LLS rates.
IPART has asked stakeholders to provide their responses to the LLS Board of Chair’s submission by 20 December 2013.
How was the LLS Framework Developed?
A Stakeholder Reference Panel was formed to guide the development of LLS. It consisted of representatives from various stakeholders, including LGNSW, who was represented by Joint President Cr Ray Donald.
The Reference Panel undertook wide consultation with stakeholders, including 22 workshops across NSW between February and April 2013. The NSW Government also established a feedback process through the ‘Have Your Say’ web portal.
The Stakeholder Reference Panel provided recommendations to the Government in late April 2013, following this extensive consultation. The Government accepted 21 of the 25 Reference Panel’s governance recommendations, and a slight variation to the regional boundaries map.
Local Government Engagement
LGNSW promoted the reform process widely across the Local Government sector and strongly encouraged councils to engage in the process. As a result many councils attended the public consultation workshops held around the state, and a significant number made written submissions.
A total of 48 councils and six ROCs provided feedback or comments on the proposed reform. This feedback was either provided directly to Local Government NSW or sent as an official submission to the Reference Panel. The majority of the feedback came from councils in the Lachlan, Central Tablelands, Central West, South East and Central Coast regions.
LGNSW made strong representations on behalf of member councils throughout the process and was successful in achieving numerous positive outcomes for Local Government.
The policy positions taken by LGNSW reflect the majority view expressed by the feedback and comment provided by member councils. Some positions may be at odds with the wishes of individual councils, but were based on the views held by the majority of councils in that region.