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.
Regardless of the merits of this Fire and Emergency Services (Miscellaneous) Amendment Bill, Livestock SA wishes to express concern at the lack of consultation before the Bill was brought to State Parliament. In future there needs to be extensive, up-front consultation. It also needs to be timely, allowing plenty of time for discussion and feedback, and to be held at a time when there can be maximum participation. Clarification is also required about which CFS officers will have the power to direct that any activity stop.
Livestock SA wishes to highlight the ‘disability’ of distance and remoteness from Adelaide and good internet access. Virtually all primary producers are finding access to the internet and easy use of various websites are a vital part of running their businesses. Livestock producers continue to express concern and frustration about poor regional telecommunications which limits access and use of the internet including State Government online services.
Livestock SA welcomed the opportunity to make a submission on behalf of its members in relation to the Farm Household Allowance. It is the Commonwealth Government’s income support payment that is designed to assist farmers and their partners experiencing financial hardship, regardless of the source of that hardship. It is an important support measure that is welcomed by industry as it can provide critical support for producers and their families.
Many sheep, beef cattle and goat producers in South Australia rely on SA Water for access to water supplies for their livestock across quite a wide part of the agricultural areas of the State, from Eyre Peninsula to the South East. The increasing cost of SA Water has become a limiting factor to profitability and production expansion.
Livestock SA welcomed the opportunity to make a submission to the current inquiry of the Natural Resources Committee on the South Australian Livestock Industries. Livestock SA is the peak body for sheep, beef cattle and goat producers in this State with approximately 3,500 members and has a vision for a strong, viable, productive and profitable livestock production sector in South Australia which is valued by the community and all levels of government.
Livestock SA welcomes the Inquiry into the impact of feral deer, pigs and goats in Australia. Pest animal control is a significant issue for Livestock SA members, with results from our recent 2018 annual survey highlighting it was a “major issue” for 35% of producers. While this includes feral deer, pigs and goats, other invasive animal species of major concern to livestock producers in South Australia include wild dogs and kangaroos. There are also other species of concern including rabbits, foxes, crows, feral cats, wombats, wallabies, possums, koalas and Cape Barren geese.