Our website has recently been updated. Make use of the search to quickly find what you are looking for.

MacLoran Farm

Restructure aims to raise livestock body

[Stock Journal viewpoint by Joe Keynes]

A recent viewpoint about Livestock SA’s future direction warrants a response as it’s important to clarify how the organisation has evolved and why we’re considering changes. Since starting in 2013, Livestock SA has broadened its services for South Australia’s livestock producers and the red meat and wool sectors. Our aim is to keep improving our structure, efficiency and impact to best represent and serve our producers and industry.

The Livestock SA Board, elected by producers, has been working with a top South Australian governance lawyer since May 2023 to review the organisation’s governance arrangements and structure. This effort is to ensure the organisation is structured appropriately and is operating at best practice. Starting in February, we’ve been gathering member feedback on a new constitution aimed at enhancing governance and compliance. The positive responses from our five consultation sessions to date show we’re on the right track.

Alongside constitutional changes, we’re also refining our committee structures. This isn’t just about following rules; it’s about making Livestock SA more effective and impactful by reducing overlap and increasing focus on key areas.

The Sheep Industry Fund (SIF) and Cattle Industry Fund (CIF) are two of 14 government-controlled state-based funding schemes. The SIF and CIF are designed to support South Australia’s sheep and cattle producers by financing projects that benefit them and the industry, such as enhancing industry productivity, sustainability, and market access.

Livestock SA is recognised by the Minister for Primary Industries and Regions as the body that represents SA’s sheep and beef cattle producers. This position allows us to recommend how SIF and CIF funds should be utilised, ensuring that projects align with industry needs and government regulations. The Minister is the administrator of all the industry funds and determines which SIF and CIF projects are approved.

Approved funds are then managed by Livestock SA, which involves contracting service providers to execute approved projects and handling all the reporting requirements to government. The government audits this work annually to ensure transparency and accountability in how funds are used.

The Sheep and Cattle Industry Fund Boards are, and have been since their establishment in 2020, sub-committees of Livestock SA. They are not separate entities. As with all Livestock SA committees, members are appointed by the Livestock SA Board to provide it with independent recommendations.

Boards appoint committees to ensure they get the best advice and can then make the best decisions. Under any new Livestock SA committee structure, the committee(s) will still review all SIF and CIF project applications and make independent recommendations for project funding to the Livestock SA Board.

Fewer, more focused committees will enable committee members to gain a greater understanding of the breadth of work the organisation undertakes on behalf of producers and the industry. The flexibility to use fit-for-purpose working groups to support committee decision making processes is also being proposed. This enables more producers to have input and utilise subject matter experts as required, which helps share workload and ensures the board receives the best possible recommendations from its committees.

The 2019-20 SIF charter is out of date. Towards the end of 2022, the Livestock SA Board and all its committee chairs agreed that all charters/terms of reference would need to be reviewed following the governance and structural review. This process will commence early next financial year.

Opposing the new constitution means settling for lower standards. We believe in aligning our efforts more effectively while preserving the quality and integrity of the work conducted by Livestock SA. It is about doing what’s best for the producers we represent.

More information:

Published: 8 April 2024