Livestock on Travelling Stock Reserves in the Riverina will now be tracked in real time, thanks to the use of radio collars. All cattle will be scanned in and out of the TSR network and fitted with tracking collars to allow live traceability and an accurate record of where they have travelled.

Minister for Primary Industries Niall Blair said TSRs are a valuable resource for producers and the use of the collars will improve compliance, efficiency and safety.

“This is a level of traceability that has not been seen on the TSR network before – we will be able to see exactly how far they’ve walked and their current location at the click of a button,” Mr Blair said. “In the event of an emergency such as a bushfire or flood, or a biosecurity outbreak, this level of modernisation will be priceless. It will be a matter of logging in and we will be able to locate mobs within minutes.”

The data from the collars link directly to a website and the battery life lasts up to two years. The data will also be available to stock owners and the Rural Crime Prevention Team (RCPT). While this project is a pilot, the outcomes will be shared with other Local Land Services regions. Mr Blair said this system will be shared with landholders so that if a drover is looking after their stock they will be able to trace their journey from start to finish and monitor this remotely.

“We will also supply the RCPT with a login, to ensure compliance is of the utmost priority,” Mr Blair said. “This not only cuts out a lot of paperwork, but a lot of driving and time – be it stock owners or TSR rangers, as this is a much more efficient way to check stock locations. This level of modernisation is exciting and there will be the opportunity to roll it out in other areas once the concept is fine-tuned.”

Last year the Nationals in Government invested more than $1 million towards upgrading the Riverina TSR network including extensive water infrastructure works, the installation of solar pumps and bores and the use of telemetry systems to remotely monitor water availability.

Riverina Local Land Services manages 87,000 hectares of the 500,000 hectares of Travelling Stock Reserves statewide.