Livestock SA has previously made submissions on Phase Two (Rural Areas) and Phase Three (Urban Areas) of the Draft Planning and Design Code Consultation. As part of these submissions, Livestock SA raised the conflict between primary production industries and believes this issue is still not addressed in the revised Planning and Design Code. Livestock SA believes if we are to protect and grow existing broadacre agriculture and avoid conflict with other agricultural pursuits, there needs to be policies in place ensuring that with any change, it becomes the responsibility of the landowner making the change, including to more intensive agriculture, viticulture and horticulture, to provide the appropriate buffers and anything else that may be required. Livestock SA also believes where broadacre land becomes non-viable due to restrictions imposed by approved new activities, particularly in the peri-urban zone, needs to be addressed further and remains concerned that broadacre livestock production has already been virtually squeezed out of this zone, with a resultant loss of economic production for the State.
The Pest Management Strategy plan will be able to provide a good basis for some effective pest polices for the effective management and control of pest plants and animals.
Livestock SA believes consideration should be given in the review to supplementing pest risk assessments with benefit cost analyses, so that an economic assessment can also be made of the management and control programs for pest animals and plants.
Livestock SA also believes rabbit management should be moved to the ‘destroy infestations’ management category as it is estimated rabbits cause over $200 million a year in losses to Australian agriculture.
Feral cats also need to be mentioned when discussing management of pests as they can threaten lamb production and carry infectious diseases.
Mention of the management of over-abundant native animals has not been discussed in the review.
Of particular concern in the Limestone Coast region are the relatively high numbers of kangaroos, the ease with which kangaroo numbers can quickly increase and the effect this can have on total grazing pressure. Further options need to be considered for effective control of kangaroos in this region.
The State Government is proposing to develop a new, consolidated Biosecurity Act for South Australia. There is no mention of funding requirements for the conditions mentioned in the new Biosecurity Act. If there is any suggestion of a new Biosecurity Act levy, this will need to be discussed within industry. There needs to be increased enforcement to increase compliance. The new act should ensure there is consistency with other livestock biosecurity legislation nationally and in other states. There are also recent changes regarding farm trespass, along with parts of the Animal Welfare Act 1985 and the new Landscape South Australia Act 2019, which need to be considered in the new Act. Livestock SA also suggests Livestock Act 1997 should not be repealed until after the new Act is fully developed. The new act should encompass all the features of the current Livestock Act.
Livestock SA fully endorses the aim of the new Road Safety Strategy to reduce lives lost and serious injuries on South Australia’s roads.
The widening of rural roads, secure fences on road corridors and the clearing of bushes and trees which obscure vision are key actions required. There is also a continued need for funding to improve the safety of regional and remote roads. This includes the need to install passing lanes and maintaining road verges. Shoulder sealing is also a cheap and mostly effective safety method which can be further implemented.
Livestock SA was involved with several Draft Pastoral Lands Bill consultation meetings to discuss the proposed new Pastoral Lands Act. The draft Bill is a vast improvement on the existing Act and Livestock SA generally supports the proposed changes. There are still areas of concern which need to be addressed. There is a need for adequate funding to resource the pastoral unit to ensure its capability to effectively manage the proposed changes to the Bill. Pastoralists cannot be expected to be entirely responsible for funding all activities in the pastoral region. There is considerable concern about losing maximum stocking rates as they are used by financially institutions to assess the capacity of a leaseholder to repay loans and used to set water allocations. There is an ongoing need for the management of feral and over-abundant native animals. There also needs to be emphasis on the importance of livestock biosecurity. Goats need to be added to the Bill as they are an income opportunity for pastoralists and the Bill has an economic development focus.
Livestock SA has made a submission to the SA Electoral Boundaries Commission expressing disappointment about the draft boundaries in relation to the pastoral region. Not only has Port Augusta been split into the two electoral districts of Giles and Stuart, but the way the boundaries are now drawn, Giles will be centred on Whyalla and Stuart on Port Pirie. Neither of these towns have any relationship with South Australia’s pastoral community. The Commission is asked to consider how the boundaries can be redrawn.
Livestock SA would like to relate to the Economic and Finance Committee’s Inquiry in relation to livestock producers and the recent challenges regarding COVID-19. The disruptions to livestock production and its supply chain in South Australia have been minimal as agriculture has been classified as an essential industry. There have been some difficulties regarding border restrictions. Livestock SA worked with PIRSA and other State Government Departments to ensure livestock producers stayed up to date and informed on the situation. Livestock SA is supporting the National Farmers’ Federation’s please to the National Cabinet to develop a clear and consistent national Agricultural Worker Movement Code. Availability of labour is important to ensure agriculture can continue to progress and thrive.
Livestock SA strongly endorses the submission made by Grain Producers SA, particularly regarding the policy principles and the recommendations on the draft regulations. Pastoralists are often impacted by mining exploration and associated activities. While they do not own the land they operate on, they do invest considerable funds and should be treated as landowner. Good livestock biosecurity practices are essential to minimize risk of disease or pest incursion on properties. Livestock SA believes mining companies need to maintain strict ‘come clean, go clean’ policies and stick to dedicated tracks within a property to minimize introduction and spread of pest, weed and disease. Livestock SA now has two Biosecurity Extension Officers who are willing to work with the mining sector on biosecurity practices and procedures. Mining companies access to property owned water infrastructure and natural water courses at the landowner’s expense is also unacceptable and consideration needs to be given to preparing procedures for this access.
Livestock SA is involved with and has representatives on the South Australian Animal Health and Welfare Advisory Committee and has recently established, along with South Australian Dairyfarmers Association, a Biosecurity, Animal Health and Welfare Advisory Committee (BAHWAC). Livestock SA also endorses the new policy making pain relief mandatory for sheep mulesing. In our recent Livestock SA members survey, 96 per cent of respondents were in favour of making pain relief for mulesing mandatory. Livestock SA was also involved in creation of the South Australian Animal Welfare Standards for Sheep and Cattle and has an interest in the outcomes of the current proposed changes to the Animal Welfare Regulations 2020.
Livestock SA was recently involved in the stakeholder consultation regarding the review of agvet chemicals regulatory framework.
- Stakeholders were generally supportive of using overseas data to enable Australia to have increased access to niche chemical products which are not available here
- There was concern over the removal of efficacy as an assessment criterion due to potential impacts on animal welfare and biosecurity
- Stakeholders highlighted the high cost of retaining accreditation and how this may impact willingness to become/stay accredited
- It would be beneficial to have greater clarity relating to emergency permits and the criteria for use
- Upfront feed for registration may act as a deterrent
- Stakeholders agreed on national harmonisation of control of use in relation to registered veterinarians’ ability to supply restricted medicines to other veterinarians
- Residue testing of produce needs to increase