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Blueprint launch caps off successful year for Livestock SA

IT has been a busy but successful year for Livestock SA and its members, with the organisation continuing to advocate for the South Australian livestock industry.

Among our greatest achievements this year was the launch of the South Australian Sheep Industry Blueprint, in conjunction with the South Australian Sheep Advisory Group. The Blueprint aims to drive a 20 per cent increase in SA sheep productivity by 2020. It is set to boost the industry’s production and value from $1.48 billion in 2015 to $1.8 billion by 2020. The Blueprint was developed through collaboration between Livestock SA and SASAG. Livestock SA then partnered with the University of Adelaide in a five-year agreement to develop and implement the Blueprint, appointing Dr Stephen Lee as its manager. Whole of chain collaboration is key, with the Blueprint guided by a working group of sheep and wool value chain stakeholder members, chaired by Moorlands sheep producer Allan Piggott, who is also a Livestock SA board member.

Other issues that Livestock SA has continued to lobby for in the past year include wild dogs. We continue to advocate for more funding from the South Australian Government to be allocated to wild dog control to stop their spread across agricultural and peri‐urban areas. In particular, $300,000 is urgently needed to employ expert wild dog trappers. Recently the government announced the appointment of a state wild dog coordinator, but Livestock SA believes more needs to be done and will continue to advocate for members on this issue.

Livestock SA members supported the SA Sheep Industry Fund voluntary transaction levy rise from 35 cents to 55c and the increase in the cattle tag levy for the SA Cattle Industry Fund from $1.10 to $1.50 a tad, which came into effect this year. Hopefully these increases will go towards underpinning these two funds, though in the case of cattle Livestock SA has continued to push for the tag levy to be replaced by a transaction levy so that the cattle fund is able to support industry into the future.

After much lobbying by Livestock SA and livestock producers around SA, the government committed to explore whether livestock brands could be attached to property identification codes. PIRSA is investigating what technological and financial barriers may exist in attaching brand diagrams to PIC records and is working with Livestock SA on a process for inclusion of brands and earmarks in a PIC database.

Others areas in which Livestock SA has worked include:

• The Northern Region has established a Pastoral Taskforce to consider changes that are required to make the Pastoral Act more workable.

• Livestock SA continues to advocate for a new national Q Fever Management Program including subsidisation of Q fever vaccinations. The issue came to prominence during the Federal Election campaign.

• Livestock SA made a submission to the Senate Inquiry on the ‘Effect of market consolidation on the red meat processing sector’, highlighting the need for a voluntary prescribed industry code that provides an avenue for producers to seek recourse for instances of uncompetitive or unfair conduct. A submission was also made to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission cattle and beef markets study.

• Livestock SA has sought the support of the state government regarding its concerns over changes to the National Bovine Johne’s Disease Program, particularly the disbandment of the Australian Johne’s Disease Market Assurance Program for Cattle (CattleMAP) from November 1. This issue has been highlighted by the refusal of Western Australia to join with the other states in accepting the changes to the program and is making it virtually impossible for those wanting to sell cattle into that state.

Details: www.livestocksa.org.au, 08 8279 2299 or find Livestock SA on Twitter and Facebook

29 December 2016 Media Type: Column / Industry Dev: SA Sheep Industry Blueprint /Industry Blueprints /