Livestock SA was disappointed in the Inquiry’s fourth report entitled: “A Balanced Bargain.” Despite the title of the Inquiry’s third report: “A Cautious Conclusion”, this report provided an in-depth analysis to strongly demonstrate that unreasonably high-water prices had been set. The fourth report in comparison back-tracks on the Inquiry’s findings. The State Government states that it is aiming for the lowest cost environment possible to do business and reducing the price of water needs to be considered as part of this process.
Livestock SA commends the initiative to review the management of dams and supports many of the proposals set out in the Draft Position Paper. Livestock SA highlights the conundrum and apparent contradiction associated with the proposals for on the one hand, seeking to “reduce red tape” and on the other to potentially “increase the level of regulation over time”. Livestock SA’s membership will view this through the lens of ‘more red tape’ in their already highly regulated environment and will view management of their dams to be their responsibility in their best interest.
The independent Taskforce appointed by RMAC to review the Red Meat MOU has prepared a Green Paper for comment. For the sake of our members, it is essential that there is a well-structured process for the future of the sheep industry in this country. Livestock SA (along with other State Farming Organisations) has been working towards the establishment of one sheep Peak Industry Council with an amalgamation of Sheep Producers Australia and Wool Producers Australia. While we appreciate this was not an option in the Taskforce’s terms of reference, it does need to be considered.
The Livestock SA Board, comprising 10 elected producers from various parts of South Australia, canvassed members and others involved with livestock in SA to get feedback on Landmark’s proposed acquisition of Ruralco and how this may affect individual producers, regions and the whole industry. This engagement has highlighted widespread concerns about the reduction in competition, with some of these concerns specific to livestock production as well as some more general concerns.
Currently the Red Meat Advisory Council has a Green Paper in circulation on the Red Meat Memorandum of Understanding, and the Discussion Paper with its wider perspective, complements this. For the sake of our members, it is essential that there is a well-structured process for the future of the red meat industry in this country. The Discussion Paper clearly sets out the challenges for the red meat industry, and the role government can play in creating the right investment environment.
Livestock SA concurs with the major finding of the Review which indicates that the GM moratorium has cost SA grain growers at least $33 million since 2004 (Finding 4.1). As indicated in this Review, Livestock SA made a submission supporting the removal of the current moratorium. As many broadacre farmers in SA run livestock as well as cropping, the moratorium needs to be lifted as soon as it can be legislated.
The Centre for Invasive Species Solutions (CISS) is to be congratulated on developing the 10-year National Investment Plan for Weeds Research, Development and Engagement. With weeds costing industry an estimated $4.3 billion annually, such a plan is long overdue. For most livestock producers, pest animals are in the main of much more concern than weeds, and we would be concerned if the development of the weeds 10-year Plan was at the expense of CISS’s excellent work on pest animals. The emphasis to date on rabbits, wild dogs, foxes, feral pigs and feral deer has been well received by industry and needs to continue.
Livestock SA commented mainly on the parts of the Productive Economy Policy Discussion Paper dealing with agriculture. It is stated that the Discussion Paper “focuses on the role the planning system can play in protecting and growing key industries.” From a Livestock SA perspective, we are not quite sure if this has been achieved. We certainly support Target 1 in the 30-Year Plan for Greater Adelaide of “containing our urban footprint and protecting our resources” and the aim for all new housing to be contained in metropolitan Adelaide or in established townships.
Livestock SA was pleased to receive a copy of the SA Water Pricing Inquiry’s Third Report “A Cautious Conclusion” and wishes to applaud the findings as outlined in the report. The Inquiry is to be commended for the work undertaken and for the preparation of a thorough Report, providing in-depth analysis to demonstrate that unreasonably high water prices have been set.
The draft Buffel Grass Strategic Plan is focussed on buffel grass’s negative impact on biodiversity, aboriginal culture and how it has no single control method. The Buffel Grass Task Force has created a biased, subjective document that has neglected the nutritional advantages for livestock, and the economic benefits to pastoralists. The draft Plan emphasises the management of buffel grass to control the infestation in South Australia. However, it has limited information on the controlling method, funding potentials and community involvement events.