The Richmond Tweed Rural Lands Protection Board has a new name.

Rural Lands Protection Boards (RLPBs) have been renamed Livestock Health and Pest Authorities.

With the Rural Lands Protection Amendment Bill 2008 successfully passing through the NSW parliament last month, 14 new Livestock Health and Pest Authorities will commence operations on 1 January.

State Council of RLPBs Chairman, David Lister, said it had been a challenging year but 2009 would mark a fresh and important new era in managing biosecurity risks across the state.

“Although the new name Livestock Health and Pest Authorities will take a little getting used to, it more accurately reflects the roles and responsibilities of the organisation and marks a change from the past to create a more modern system for present and future generations,” Mr Lister said.

The Minister for Primary Industries has appointed interim boards of directors for each of the new authorities. They comprise one director from each of the current board districts and will remain until elections for new positions are held in the first half of this year.

The establishment of a State Policy Council and State Management Council will be undertaken throughout 2009. Work relating to the future management of TSRs will also commence in the latter part of the year.

Local offices in all existing RLPB districts will remain open and all contact numbers and address details will remain the same.

Landholders can continue to do business with their local office such as reporting locusts, collecting fox baits, ordering stock identification tags and seeking help to fill out drought assistance forms. Property Identification Code (PIC) applications and Travelling Stock Reserve (TSR) and Stock Watering Place (SWP) permits will also continue to be managed locally.

For further information regarding the changes visit www.rlpb.org.au or contact the State Council of Rural Lands Protection Boards on (02) 6391 3242.