Since the announcement of the Pastoral Land Management and Conservation Act 1989 review Livestock SA has had the opportunity to canvas many of our affected members and there are a number of matters which this submission seeks to touch on including tenure, impact of legislation, the nature of stock, lease review systems, Aboriginal issues and the structure and nature of the Pastoral Board itself. Invariably legislation, policy, regulation and execution of policy intersect. This submission has endeavoured to restrain itself to the matters of the legislation, however, from time to time where it is impossible to separate legislation from policy and execution, Livestock SA has made comment. These areas relate to issues like movement on public access routes, funding of the Pastoral Lands Unit and compliance, or lack of it, of the existing act by the South Australian Government.
Livestock SA is very pleased that the State Government proposes to lift the moratorium on growing GM food crops in all parts of mainland South Australia, it is disappointing that it is also proposed that the moratorium will remain on Kangaroo Island. While we acknowledge the strong sentiments of some Kangaroo Island producers, we are aware that once the moratorium is removed on the mainland, even canola growers on Kangaroo Island will be watching what happens to any premium for GM-free canola.
Livestock SA welcomes and supports the proposed amendments to the South Australian Commercial Kangaroo Management Plan 2018-2022. The proposal comes after renewed calls from industry to provide additional flexibility in kangaroo management across SA. The proposed changes are a positive step in kangaroo management. Livestock SA has strongly lobbied for the commercial harvesting areas to be increased to ensure harvesting can occur in all areas where kangaroo populations have increased significantly. Since 2011 kangaroo numbers have increased across the State, doubling from an estimated 2.5 million to more than 5 million. This large rise in kangaroo populations has impacted hugely on producers, as well as at an environmental level, with increased numbers placing significant grazing pressure on properties.
Livestock SA is pleased at the commitment to develop a 20-year State Infrastructure Strategy. It is rare for such a long-term period to be considered, but in planning infrastructure a 20- year framework is much more realistic than the usual three or five years. It is noted that in the Discussion Paper that seven infrastructure sectors are identified. Of these, transport, utilities and digital infrastructure are all required for the future of the livestock industries in this State.
Livestock SA congratulates the State Government on its commitment to develop a statewide Regional Development Strategy. Our comments are largely focussed on the three aspects outlined in the Discussion Paper – Service Provision, Investment in Infrastructure, and Regional Enablers and relate to what livestock producers need to ensure that the State has a viable livestock industry.
On behalf of its pastoral members, Livestock SA wishes to raise a couple of issues in relation to the draft Outback Bushfire Management Area Plan, in relation to the terms of reference and Buffel grass. While appreciating that the terms of reference outlining the role and responsibility of the Outback Bushfire Management Committee primarily needs to be related to bushfire management, Livestock SA believes that in addition to considering the environment and land management, that part (f) needs to be expanded with an addition point about also “having due regard to property viability.” Maintaining viable grazing/livestock businesses needs to part of the land and fire management in this part of the State. Livestock SA is also concerned that the Outback Bushfire Management Committee wants buffel grass recognised as a declared weed in Western Australia and Northern Territory.
Livestock SA supports Wool Producer Australia’s submission to AWEX’s Review of the National Wool Declaration. In particular, Livestock SA would like ‘Ceased Mulesing’ to be removed from the NWD form, as this category is no longer relevant. Removing ‘Ceased mulesing’ will make the NWD form more straight-forward and user friendly and it would mean only three categories would be lised on the NWD, Non mulesed, Mulesed with pain relied and Mulesed.
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.