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Local Community Advisory Group gets down to business

The communities of the NSW Murray Region have a new way of being heard by the Board of Murray Local Land Services with the formation of the Murray Local Community Advisory Group (LCAG) last week.

The Murray LCAG has been established as a group of community members who will provide advice to the Board of Murray LLS on specific activities and programs focused on community engagement. It will look at the effectiveness of Murray Local Land Services' engagement with the community and address specific issues at the request of the Murray LLS Board.

This sub-committee of the Murray LLS Board complements the existing Murray Aboriginal Technical Group which advises the Board on ways to support and work consultatively with Aboriginal communities in the NSW Murray region.

There are fifteen community members on the Local Community Advisory Board, all with experience and expertise from agricultural practice change to natural resources management, local government and rural social issues at both the local and regional scale.

They will advise the Board of Murray LLS on the way it works with community groups on sustainable agriculture, biosecurity and natural resource management. All LLS regions have established "LCAGs" in response to a legislative requirement to ensure the community's needs are met by Local Land Services.

The first meeting of the group was held on 27th February at Tocumwal under the chairmanship of Mr. Anthony Piggin of Corowa, who has extensive experience in farming, Landcare, local government and community leadership.

Mr. Piggin was welcomed into his role by the Chair of Murray LLS, Mrs. Alex Anthony who said that in addition to the provision of advice on community collaboration the Local Community Advisory Group would also act as a steering committee for the Communities program of Murray LLS.

"The Board is looking forward to this new advisory mechanism. We need the advice and input of this group to guide our processes for effectively connecting with the community and our work with community partners to support capacity and devolved delivery.

"We are committed to making sure that Murray LLS listens to its customers and the community on biosecurity issues, feral pests, innovation in agriculture, practical NRM and other important issues that affect the sustainability of our communities, large and small," she added.

Mr Piggin said that the Local Community Advisory Group will be listening to the community to ensure processes were in place to enable their needs to be brought to the attention of the Board of Murray LLS and help provide transparency in decision making.

"We will be considering the needs of the whole community of the NSW Murray region and complement the work of existing groups who have a specific focus, such as Sheep Biosecurity groups, Wild Dog Management groups, project steering committees and other regional agricultural and various environmental forums.

"As a long time member of Landcare and a number of producer groups, I also want to reassure those groups that we will be consulting with them to provide an additional supportive voice, not replace their existing relationship with Murray Local Land Services.

"The members of LCAG have made contact with a wide range of groups, farmers and community members to help us bring important issues to the table", he added.

The membership of the Murray Local Community Advisory Group consists of: Colin Bull (Conargo); Helen Collins (Mallan); Dr. Alan Curtis (Albury); John Bruce (Barooga); Felicity Middleton (Burra); Rob Fenton (Thurgoona); Tony a'Beckett (Tumbarumba); Dale Stringer (Holbrook); Phil Snowden (Tocumwal); Malcolm Holm (Finley); Eric Lavis (Bungowannah); Terry Hogan (Jerilderie); Rick Ellis (Barham); Neil Bull (Deniliquin); and Tony Piggin (Corowa).

Murray LLS Community Engagement Officer, Dan Hutton will be liaising closely with the Murray LCAG and can provide further information.

Photo attached: Caption – Members of the Murray Local Community Advisory Group at their first meeting at Tocumwal.

More Information: Dan Hutton, Murray LLS 03 5880 1413
Juliet CullenCommunications Officer Murray LLS 02 6051 2252