Board Meeting Communique | October
The Livestock SA Board convened on 27-28 October 2022 at the Adelaide Showgrounds for the first time following the relocation of the Livestock SA office from Glandore to the Heavy Horse Memorial Building. Several key industry issues continued to be progressed.
Sheep and Goat Traceability project
The Board reviewed progress to date and noted that the Steering Committee had convened three times including with the consultant appointed to prepare the business case – Acil Allen. Targeted consultation sessions around the state and an online survey would commence on Monday 31 October to better understand different perspectives and needs from across the supply to move to mandatory eID. It is anticipated that a draft business case will be completed by the end of November.
CVO Dr Mary Carr attended the meeting to discuss the future of 1B. Program development has been hindered by the lack of dedicated funding and resourcing, and producer uptake has been slow without intensive producer group meetings. Some funding has recently been secured from the Department of Agriculture and various opportunities for program enhancements are now being explored with Agtech companies such as Exoflare. The Board agreed there is a need to determine where industry and government investment and resourcing is best focussed, particularly as national processes progressed.
Emergency Animal Disease (EAD) Preparedness
The Board discussed the progress on EAD preparedness following the South Australia Livestock Biosecurity Summit held in April 2022 and the LSD/FMD preparedness workshop in August 2022. The action plan developed from the August preparedness workshop is being worked through, including key areas such as general awareness, training for localised responses, and livestock movements.
Cattle Industry Fund (CIF)
The Board agreed that Livestock SA will undertake a consultation process in early 2023 to look at options for changing the CIF levy arrangements to ensure a more sustainable pool of funds is available to progress the State’s beef cattle industry. The Cattle Levy Working Group would start exploring various options and modelling contributions and impacts to various sectors of the industry.
Carbon Climate Methane
As the methane debate continues to gather momentum, the Board discussed the work Livestock SA is involved in directly, through the Blueprint Carbon Focus Group, and through the Peak Industry Councils. Recent meetings with the private sector indicate that the carbon market is developing, but many unanswered questions remain. The Board agreed that Livestock SA would increase communications about the risks associated with selling carbon credits and that members seek legal advice before entering into any agreements. Livestock SA is currently finalising a strategic partnership with Mellor Olsson, which should also assist members make more informed contractual decisions in the future.
With the current review of the Animal Welfare Regulations, and a review of the Act expected in the new year, the Board reaffirmed its positions around mandatory pain relief for mulesing and the changes required to enable virtual fencing to be used as a management tool. Follow up meetings with government are pending.
The Board discussed the outcomes from the whole of industry Agricultural Chemical Stewardship Roundtable convened by PPSA in September. The Board noted the progress on actions from the roundtable, including increased communications through the grain and wine industries, updated ChemCert training requests, and reviewing the current and future approaches to compliance and regulatory activities.
The Board noted all currently contracted projects were on track and that Livestock SA was developing a new biosecurity project that focussed on delivering against the Biosecurity Blueprint.
Board members representing the industry through various national organisations and state committees provided progress reports in their various areas to ensure Livestock SA member issues are being progressed:
- Cattle Council of Australia (CCA) / Cattle Australia (CA)
- Sheep Producers Australia (SPA)
- Biosecurity, Animal Health and Welfare Advisory Committee (BAHWAC)
- Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (AWAC)
- Wool Producers Australia (WPA)
- Primary Producers SA (PPSA)
- Goat Industry Council of Australia (GICA)
- Kangaroo reference group
It was noted that 4 November marked the official start of the Cattle Australia Constitution and the transition of CCA to CA and the commencement of the inaugural democratic Board election process.
Current Member Issues and Feedback
Concerns raised through the Marree Northern Region Meeting were reviewed – key areas to progress include biosecurity infrastructure (e.g. truck washes) and signage, feral animal management, road repairs and telecommunication services.
The findings from the 2022 Producers Priorities Survey were also discussed and noted the issues which matter most to the members with biosecurity risks being of the highest importance. The winner of the $500 fuel voucher was drawn and announced during the board meeting – congratulations to Greg Povey from Mt Gambier.
Conferences and Programs
The Board viewed the Growing SA 2022 report and discussed the success of the conference. Livestock SA will again host Growing SA with GPSA in 2023 and an organising committee was appointed. EvokeAG is being hosted in Adelaide in February 2023 and it was agreed that Livestock SA have a presence at the event. Livestock SA would also be represented at the upcoming NFF Leaders’ Summit on 22 November by Gillian Fennell.
The Board will next meet on 14 December 2022 ahead of the annual Livestock Industry Dinner.