Frequently asked questions – Wild Dog Destruction Board
What is proposed?
The proposed transfer of the Wild Dog Destruction Board (WDDB) to Local Land Services is being considered as part of the broader Local Land Services Future Directions announcement made by Minister Blair in December 2016.
If approved, the transfer would see the WDDB maintain its independent profile, but align its operations and administration with Local Land Services.
Under these arrangements, all the WDDB staff who are employed by the Department of Industry would transfer to Local Land Services and continue to be funded by the Wild Dog Destruction Fund.
Will the transfer definitely happen and when?
The Minister for Primary Industries, Niall Blair has appointed a transition steering committee to begin the consultation process and oversee the proposed transfer. This includes engagement with key stakeholders and development of an implementation plan if the transfer is approved.
The final decision on whether the transfer goes ahead rests with Minister Blair, who will consider recommendations from the committee. If he approves the transfer, it will be effective from 1 July 2017.
Who is on the transition steering committee?
The Minister has appointed the Chair of the Local Land Services Board of Chairs, Tim de Mestre to chair the transition steering committee.
To ensure that all aspects of the transfer and the transition process are addressed, a range of other people will be involved.
Stakeholder representatives will be from:
- NSW Farmers representative
- Pastoralists Association of West Darling
- A current member of the WDDB.
Other members appointed to the committee include:
- Western Lands Commissioner, Andrew Bell,
- Director Industrial Relations, Department of Industry, Simon Kempson
- Local Land Services Western Region General Manager, Erlina Compton
- Chair of the Local Land Services Western Region Board (soon to be appointed by the Minister).
Local Land Services will also ensure that staff responsible for the areas of Finance; Corporate Affairs; and People and Culture are involved in the process.
What is the role of the transition steering committee?
The Committee has been established as the primary body responsible for making recommendations to the Minister about the possible transfer of the operations and administration of the WDDB.
The Committee is also responsible for developing a transition plan and overseeing any transition of WDDB to Local Land Services.
What are the benefits of the transfer for the Wild Dog Destruction Board?
There are strong areas of alignment between Local Land Services and the WDDB. Biosecurity is a core function of Local Land Services, including programs to address the impact of pest animals.
Local Land Services also has responsibilities for natural resource management and stakeholder engagement with the pastoral sector.
At a local level, the WDDB would have improved access to systems and administrative support from Local Land Services.
At the broader level, it is likely that the board may be able to leverage some support in terms of procurement of services and expertise from the Soil Conservation Service, which is also proposed to transfer to LLS in July 2017.
It is also possible that the board may have access to a greater pool of staff to draw on for relief situations when fence maintenance staff are on leave.
Will there be any impact on service levels, particularly monitoring of the wild dog fence?
A key element of the proposed transfer is the continuity of service delivery. Business would carry on as usual and operational arrangements for fence maintenance and inspections would be unaffected.
The current board would continue to be responsible for overseeing operations, business planning, staffing, budgeting and engaging contractors.
All current staff would merely move across to the Local Land Services structure.
Will the Wild Dog Destruction Board continue to operate as a separate entity?
Yes. The WDDB is a statutory entity, which means that the composition of the board and its responsibilities are clearly defined in law. It carries out functions on behalf of the NSW Government.
The board will report jointly to Minister Blair and the Minister for Lands and Forests, Paul Toole.
Who will be on the Wild Dog Destruction Board?
The WDDB currently has five board members:
- NSW Farmers’ Association representative
- Pastoralists’ Association of NSW representative
- three members representing Local Land Services.
The Chair of the Board is the Western Lands Commissioner.
The current board membership will remain unchanged, pending the outcome of the review process.
What will happen to the funds and property that belong to the Wild Dog Destruction Board?
All assets of the WDDB remain intact and the property of the board, including the fence, vehicles and other infrastructure.
Fees and charges will continue to be collected into a separate bank account and the Wild Dog Destruction Fund will continue to be used to maintain the fence.
Are there any opportunities for efficiencies as part of this transfer?
All possibilities will be considered, including a single rates notice.
Who has provided this information?
These questions and answers have been jointly prepared by key staff involved in this process, including:
- Andrew Bell, Western Lands Commissioner
- Erlina Compton, General Manager, Western Region Local Land Services
- David Witherdin, Executive Director, State Operations, Local Land Services.
Input has also been provided by the Director of Industrial Relations with the Department of Industry, Simon Kempson.