Govt supports key initiatives
Last year was a busy and successful year for Livestock SA and its members despite the tough weather conditions faced by many South Australian producers.
Livestock prices were in producers’ favour, with outstanding lamb, beef and wool returns. With African Swine Fever still affecting countries throughout the world, particularly the China pig market, the global demand for Australian meat is increasing.
The Dog Fence rebuild was the top priority for the year for Livestock SA, with the Federal and State Governments committing to funding $20 million towards the $25 million replacement of 1600 kilometres of the SA Dog Fence.
Livestock SA committed, on behalf of the industry, to invest the remaining $5 million through a 12-cent increase in the South Australian Sheep Industry Fund levy which is currently in effect.
Once the industry has committed its $5 million share of the rebuild, the 12-cent increase will cease.
Contractors have been briefed and those successful in the Dog Fence tender process will be notified of their success in the coming weeks, with the fence rebuild set to commence autumn this year.
The long-awaited rebuild will take three to five years to complete and is estimated to generate net benefits to the state up to $133 million over a 20-year period.
The Sheep and Cattle Industry Funds have now transitioned to industry administration and governance.
Livestock SA will submit fund expenditure recommendations from the industry to the Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development for approval, and payments will be distributed from the funds by Livestock SA in line with the recommendations of the Sheep and Cattle Industry Fund Boards.
Nominations for the Industry Fund Boards are closed, and the new boards will be announced later this month with the first call for projects for funding occurring later in the year.
The state government announced a $3 million commitment to expand funding for holders of native vegetation Heritage Agreements, to boost the benefits of improved native vegetation and enhance climate change resilience over time throughout SA.
Livestock SA will be prioritizing the Heritage Agreement program this year, to assist and encourage landholders to permanently protect native vegetation on their property.
Although the dry conditions throughout the state are set to continue, Livestock SA is urging producers to begin thinking about planning for drought recovery. Long term investment and land management is important to ensure businesses remain sustainable.
Livestock SA look forward to another successful year of advocacy and lobbying with members in 2020.
– ANDREW CURTIS, Chief Executive Officer, Livestock SA