New role to improve access to public land for beekeepers

NSW Department of Primary Industries will develop a single online support desk to simplify access to apiary sites on public land which includes areas right across the South East

The support desk will streamline the process for beekeepers to access public land in the state - an important development for NSW government agencies and industry.

NSW Department of Primary Industries Manager Intensive Livestock, Alex Russell, said DPI has recognised the need to develop and manage a support desk to provide a central point of liaison for the honey bee industry in its dealings with government.

“This support desk will include an online platform to present information about available sites, including maps, a customer database and tools to improve communication between agencies and permit holders,” Mr Russell said.

A new Program Coordinator, Apiculture Resource Access role has been created within the Department, based in Orange, to develop the support desk.

“I am pleased to announce that Nick Geoghegan has accepted the role, which is expected to deliver significant improvements in the utilisation of available sites for apiculture with administrative efficiency benefits for both government and industry,” Mr Russell said.

“In particular, Nick will coordinate the implementation of the new policy framework for apiary sites on public land and the establishment of the support desk for apiary site permit holders - beekeepers.

Above: NSW DPI Honey Bee Industry Development Officer, Elizabeth Frost and NSW DPI Program Coordinator Apiculture Resource Access, Nick Geoghegan at Tocal College.

Mr Geoghegan has recently visited apiary sites on the south coast to see first-hand some of the challenges and opportunities that affect beekeepers. He plans to also meet with other relevant stakeholders in the near future.

Mr Geoghegan said forests and other public lands are a critical resource for the industry and he hoped to make it easier for beekeepers to find out about available sites and to better manage their permits.

“I look forward to working with beekeepers and agencies to address issues affecting access to public land and to identify potential new sites,” he said.

Nick has extensive project and program management experience. His qualifications include a Masters of Information Technology (University of Sydney) and a BSc (Management) from Dublin University.

He previously held a number of senior roles in the telecommunications sector, with a strong focus on product development, marketing, stakeholder engagement and customer experience.

Media contact: Anne Brook (02) 6763 1163 or 0477 358 305

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