GLOUCESTER farmer Susan Hooke has been announced as the chairperson of the new Hunter Local Land Services (LLS) board.
Mrs Hooke, who was also a lawyer, has been the chair of the Hunter Central Rivers Catchment Management Authority (CMA) for the past two years.
Local Land Services will see the CMA, Livestock Health and Pest Authority (LHPA) and parts of the Department of Primary Industry’s (DPI) agriculture and research divisions merge to become one entity.
The new Hunter LLS incorporates 12 local government areas, including Newcastle, and stretches from Lake Macquarie north to Taree and west as far as Merriwa.
Mrs Hooke said the new entity would provide the same services previously offered by the LHPA and CMA, but would be more efficient for land owners.
“For starters there is the obvious benefit of information sharing,” she said.
“Local Land Services will also be more efficient in terms of communication between departments and we’ll have improved access to DPI research and scientists.”
She said the aim of the LLS was to maintain good farmland that could provide good food and clean water.
Controlling the spread of biohazards and noxious weeds will also come under the banner of the LLS.
“We want to be accessible to all famers and landholders, that includes people like oyster growers as well,” Mrs Hooke said.
Local Land Services will come into being from January 1 next year.