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Rates FAQs

Why do I pay rates?

Thank you for protecting the NSW landscape and agricultural industry through your rates.

Your rates fund our biosecurity, animal health and emergency work:

  • coordinating and supporting pest control for a healthier and more productive landscape
  • our vets’ animal health programs
  • supporting agriculture and animals during emergencies
  • supporting stock identification systems.

Local Land Services rates are levied on property owners who occupy land 10 hectares and above in the Central West. They are separate to council rates.

What does Local Land Services do for me?

Local Land Services staff are technical specialists with a wealth of local knowledge.

You have the benefit of their collective knowledge and experience to help with your property, biosecurity, stock, crop or environmental issues.

We work in regional NSW to provide independent and accessible advice.

The work of our staff in herd health, monitoring and traceability mean consumers are confident in Australia’s ‘clean and green’ food
reputation.

Export markets remain open and commodity prices remain strong.

I have no livestock. What’s the value to me?

We support landholders to manage their land, run a healthy enterprise and meet their obligations.

Our role in pest animal coordination means you have networks, information and advice.

You can deliver on your legal responsibility to control declared pests on your land.

Fire and flood impact our communities regularly. Our staff are trained and in place to help you prepare, respond and recover
when emergencies hit.

Likewise, when pest and disease outbreaks happen, we are on the ground to respond.

Our natural resource management programs support landholders to improve our environment and manage their land more sustainably.

We invest in our region through the support of Catchment Action NSW, the National Landcare Program and other partners.

At the end of the day, we provide a broad range of services to support landholders building a healthy and resilient farming enterprise.

We invite you to visit your local office to find out more.

How can I get more value from Local Land Services?

We offer a range of services and programs to help you improve your productivity and landscape health.

We regularly run workshops and training to share best practice and help you improve your farm productivity and landscape health.

Visit our website or contact your local office to find out what events and programs are available.

The meat industry levy, animal health rate and pest rate—what are they?

The meat industry levy is a statutory levy collected on behalf of the NSW Food Authority. These funds make sure meat is delivered safely from farm to consumer. Find out more on the NSW Food Authority website.

The animal health rate is based on your notional carrying capacity, which is explained on your rates.

The special purpose pest management rate is collected to meet costs of pest insect control campaigns and some local pest animal control work.

What has changed with rates?

The Local Land Services Amendment Bill changed the pest insect rate to the special purpose pest management rate.

This means that from 2018 a proportion of these funds will now go back into local on-ground pest animal control.

What happens if I don’t pay rates?

Thank you for supporting our work to protect NSW agriculture from disease outbreaks, biosecurity threats and emergencies.

Without these programs, our primary industries and market access are at risk.

If you are overdue in paying your rates, you will be charged interest.

If you fail to pay your rates, we may take legal action to recover unpaid rates and charges.

The current interest rate and further information are available from our website or your local office.

If you expect to have trouble paying your rates on time, contact your nearest Local Land Services office

Who is charged rates by Local Land Services?

Under the Local Land Services Act 2013, Local Land Services must charge rates on all parcels of land that are classified as rateable land under the Act.

Each region has a minimum rating area for properties. The rateable area is generally 10 ha in coastal and tablelands areas and is larger (40 ha in the Western Region and 20 ha in some parts of Murray and Riverina Regions) in more western regions.

What do rates pay for?

Rates support the biosecurity and animal health services we provide in your region such as:

  • coordinating programs to help landholders meet their legal obligation to control declared pests
  • supplying baits, traps and chemicals, advice on control methods and help in forming pest control groups
  • our animal health services, including animal health and drought feeding advice, diagnosis of flock and herd issues and response to emergency disease outbreaks
  • administration of stock identification systems, including property identification codes, brands, earmarks and compliance with the National Livestock Identification System
  • supporting animals and agriculture during emergencies such as bushfires, floods and biosecurity threats.

Our biosecurity services are insurance against risks to your enterprise and help maintain vital domestic and international market access.

Examples of biosecurity projects include outbreaks of fire ants and avian influenza, as well as statewide wild dog management programs.

Pest and weed support programs help minimise the impact on agricultural productivity.

Are rates the only source of income for Local Land Services?

Rates are not the only source of income for Local Land Services – they make up less than one third of our funding.

As well as rates, the NSW Government contributes funding through Catchment Action NSW, which provides on-ground programs to support biodiversity, native vegetation, threatened species and Aboriginal cultural heritage initiatives.

The Australian Government also contributes funding through the National Landcare Program, which helps drive sustainable agriculture, as well as supporting the protection, conservation and rehabilitation of Australia’s natural environment.

This funding also supports the activities of community groups, such as Landcare.

We are also supported by specific projects regionally, such as the Hunter Catchment Contribution in the Hunter region.

How are rates calculated?

Rates are charged on a two-tier basis, involving a general rate paid by all landholders and a supplementary animal health rate that only some landholders are charged.

The base amount is similar to a flag fall in a taxi. The base charge is applied to each of the four rate types levied on a property.

What is the general rate?

The general rate is payable on all rateable land. It has a base amount and a cents-per-unit charge, based on the notional carrying capacity of the land.

If I don’t have any livestock do I still have to pay general rates?

All landholders on land that is rateable under the Local Land Services Act 2013 are required to pay general rates. These funds mean we can support landholders to meet their legal obligations and maintain the health and productivity of the landscape.

What is notional carrying capacity?

The notional carrying capacity of your property is calculated by Local Land Services in your local region. It is based on the number of stock your property would normally carry in an average year if the property was used solely for livestock purposes. This figure is based on stock units per hectare.

Under the Local Land Services Act 2013, a 40 kg sheep of any breed represents one stock unit and a 400 kg steer of any breed represents 10 stock units.

Who calculates the notional carrying capacity?

Assessment of notional carrying capacity is undertaken by Local Land Services in your local region.

What if I disagree with the notional carrying capacity or some other calculation on my rates notice?

If you do not agree with any of the calculations on your rates notice, you can lodge an appeal with your nearest Local Land Services office, within 28 days of receiving a rates notice.

If you still disagree after the appeal has been dealt with by Local Land Services, you can lodge a further appeal with the NSW Civil and Administration Tribunal. You can contact them online or by phoning 1300 006 228.

What is the animal health rate?

The animal health rate has a base charge and a cents per stock unit charge, based on the notional carrying capacity of the land.

Does everyone have to pay animal health rates?

The animal health rate is payable if you indicated on your annual land and stock return that you had at least 50 stock units on your property in the previous year. This charge also applies if you did not lodge a land and stock return by 31 August last year.

What if I didn’t lodge a land and stock return or lodged my return late?

The animal health rate is also payable if you did not lodge your land and stock return by the due date. This approach has been designed to encourage people to lodge their returns.

What are the other levy charges on my rates notice?

Your rates notice also contains a pest insect special purpose levy and a meat industry levy. These levies are collected by Local Land Services on behalf of other agencies.

What is the pest insect special purpose levy?

This levy is charged on all rateable land for the control of declared pest insects, such as locusts. Local Land Services collects this levy on behalf of NSW Department of Primary Industries and does not keep the funds.

What is the meat industry levy?

The meat industry levy is collected on behalf of NSW Food Authority. It is payable by land owners who are charged the animal health rate. Local Land Services does not retain these funds.

Stock ID fees

This fee supports stock identification systems and administration costs and has been standardised at $70 across all regions.

The stock ID fee is levied on holdings less than 10 ha where a landholder has a brand or earmark or former landholders who wish to retain their brand or earmark.

Special rate for specific purposes

Sometimes Local Land Services regions may charge a special purpose rate for specified purposes, such as noxious weed management on travelling stock reserves or to contribute to a specific pest insect destruction program. There are no special rates levied for 2017.

Why am I charged rates if my property is zoned residential?

Local government land zonings are not relevant to Local Land Services regions. Even though you may pay council rates, if your holding is greater than the minimum area set out by the Act, Local Land Services rates also apply.

If I pay rates, do I get baits and other things for free?

Rates provide for biosecurity and animal health services provided by Local Land Services.

Most merchandise (including baits and stock signs) attracts an additional charge.

I have a Voluntary Conservation Agreement (VCA) on my property so why do I have to pay rates?

Rates are used to fund essential pest control and livestock health surveillance on all rateable land, including areas that are under VCA. Some land is exempt from rates, including land used for a caravan park, cemetery, golf course and local council land (not used as an agricultural enterprise).

How do I pay?

There are a number of ways you can pay your rates.

  1. Online - Make a payment at on this website
  2. BPAY – telephone and internet banking
  3. By phone - call 1300 738 070 and pay by MasterCard or Visa
  4. By mail – post your cheque or money order to the address on the remittance advice section of the rate notice
  5. In person – at selected Local Land Services offices.

NOTE: Payments through Australia Post are NOT available.

Does it cost more to pay by credit card?

A 0.4 % surcharge applies to rates paid by Mastercard or Visa to cover merchant fees. There is no surcharge for payments by cash, cheque or BPAY.

What if I can’t pay by the due date?

We understand that, from time to time, some people experience difficulty paying your rates by the due date. If that is you, talk to the staff at your nearest Local Land Services office.

Will interest charges apply to overdue rates?

Yes. Interest will be charged on overdue amounts (as at 31 May 2017) at the rate of 11.31%.

As part of the transition to Local Land Services, we have not charged interest on overdue accounts since December 2013, even though it has been clearly stated on statements and invoices.

Provisions under the Local Land Services Act 2013 allow us to charge interest at a rate that is reviewed annually. Charging interest on overdue accounts is also considered standard business practice.

Interest charged is clearly shown in the body of the account statement. The minimum threshold is $2.00, so if the interest calculated is less than $2.00, it will not be charged to your account.

Interest will only be charged on amounts that are overdue at the end of the month when the interest calculation is run, so if an account was overdue last month but it is paid before the end of this month, no interest will be charged.

What happens if I buy or sell a property with outstanding rates?

You need to ask this question of the person doing your property conveyancing. The debt will remain on the property until the rates are paid. Any unpaid rates should be deducted from settlement during the sale process and paid to Local Land Services. Where this is not done, unpaid rates remain against the land and become the responsibility of the new owner.

More information

Staff in any local office of Local Land Services in your region

Call: 1300 795 299

Send an email