NSW Beekeepers will have easier, more equitable access to apiary sites on public land under a pilot program to be launched by the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI).
NSW DPI Program Coordinator Apiary Sites Nick Geoghegan said the pilot, part of the new ‘whole-of-government’ policy framework for apiary sites on public land, would streamline access to sites currently managed by multiple government agencies.
“We’ve consulted extensively with the industry to develop a new framework for people needing to access these sites,” Mr Geoghegan said.
“The pilot program will give the people who use these sites an opportunity to provide meaningful feedback on the new process so we can make sure it works efficiently.
“That feedback will help us make any necessary improvements before the broader rollout of the new framework. This will ensure that it is a strong, robust process which supports industry.”
The framework includes an expression of interest (EOI) process to allocate any newly available bee sites on public lands.
For the pilot program, an online map will give apiarists a view of available apiary sites within the Central West region. Applicants can then lodge an EOI for access to their preferred sites, which will be determined according to two main criteria:
● Compliance history in relation to biosecurity and permits; and,
● Management practice in relation to the Biosecurity Code of Practice and completion of pests and diseases training.
The application phase will commence on the 24 July 2018 and run until the 21st of August 2018.
Mr Geoghegan said the framework would create a fair and transparent allocation system which promotes and rewards best practice management by apiarists.
“At the start of the Pilot an EOI form will be published on the DPI website for interested Apiarists to complete, and an information briefing will be held in the area of the pilot during the submission period,” he said.
“Apiarists also have the opportunity to visit public land sites during the Pilot EOI submission period to decide which of the available sites they are interested in.”
President of the NSW Apiarists Association, Neil Bingley said the whole of government approach to apiary sites on public land is an important development for both NSW government agencies, and the apiary industry.
“These changes streamline administration required in applying for public land in the state, facilitating future growth for the apiary industry,” Mr Bingley said.
Apiarists who would like to participate in the pilot are encouraged to register their interest by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Information on the pilot program is available on the NSW DPI website https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/animals-and-livestock/bees/expressions-of-interest-eoi-pilot-for-apiary-sites-on-public-land