While farmers will receive their annual land and stock returns by mail this week, NSW Local Land Services is urging landholders to lodge their return online.
Annual returns are a statutory requirement and the data they provide ensure farmers 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,” said Dr Steve Eastwood, Local Land Services’ emergency management business partner.
“Landholders can help us help them in an emergency or biosecurity event,” he said.
Similar to the Australian Census, an annual land and stock return gives legislators a snapshot in time. Landholders should fill in the details as they were recorded at 30 June, 2020, and lodge them no later than 31 August, 2020.
The collected data provides information on agricultural land use and livestock numbers across NSW, and helps monitor flocks and herds for disease.
“We understand circumstances change during 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,” said Dr Eastwood.
Local Land Services’ regional operations executive director, Rob Kelly, said livestock figures that landholders provide on their return do not affect the amount they pay in rates.
“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, such as the past summer’s bushfires, 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.”
The online process can be completed in three simple steps.
Lodging by post is still available.