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Livestock SA welcomes producer support for proposed SA Dog Fence levy

Livestock SA has welcomed strong producer support for proposed industry levies which will raise the money required for industry’s contribution towards the rebuilding of the South Australian Dog Fence.

Livestock SA is working with industry to contribute $5 million towards the $25 million cost to rebuild the SA Dog Fence, which will also be matched by $10 million from the South Australian Government and $10 million from the Federal Government.

Earlier this year, Federal Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey and Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone committed the Federal and State Governments to their respective investments in the SA Dog Fence renewal.

It is proposed the industry contribution of $5 million be collected and remitted over five years through the following mechanisms:

  • A levy on the processing of rangeland goats harvested in SA. This levy would be set at $1 per head and it is anticipated to contribute $150,000 per annum.
  • An increase in the Dog Fence Rates paid by pastoralists for the specific purpose of Dog Fence Renewal and collected for an expected period of five years until the $5 million is acquitted. This would see an increase in the annual rate from $1.33 per square kilometre to a rate of $2 per square kilometre. The minimum rate would also be increased from $110 to $475. It is expected that this mechanism will contribute $250,000 per annum. Further advice regarding this rate will be provided by the Dog Fence Board to all rate payers.
  • A levy collected solely for the purpose of Dog Fence Renewal collected on sheep transactions and collected for an expected period of five years until the $5 million is acquitted. This levy would be set at 12 cents per transaction and it is anticipated this levy will contribute $600,000 per annum. Further advice regarding this levy and administrative changes to the Sheep Industry Fund will be provided through a subsequent letter to all levy payers.

Livestock SA President Joe Keynes said the collective strong support of producers across the state for the proposed levies had been very pleasing.

“It shows the foresight of South Australian livestock producers in working together collectively to ensure we can resolve the threat of wild dogs to the South Australian livestock industry,” he said.

“While the impact of the fence rebuild will be most immediately felt by those producers in the north of the state, it is vitally important in ensuring the South Australian livestock industry remains a profitable and viable sector into the future.

“This urgent need to renew significant lengths of the SA Dog Fence remains the number one priority for our industry.

“The failure of the current fence and resultant wild dog predation on sheep flocks to the south of the fence is having a huge emotional and economic toll on all involved.”

Mr Keynes said a BDO Econsearch analysis of the economics of the fence found rebuilding it would result in a net benefit to the community of between $58.9 million and $120.3 million over a 20-year period.

“These mechanisms for collecting the levy have been calculated recognising the impact of drought on stock numbers,” he said.

“Fund collection will be monitored and ceased when the industry contribution has been achieved.

“We’ve spoken to many members on this issue, both directly and through regional meetings.

“We encourage people with any questions to get in touch through the Livestock SA office.”

Details: Contact the Livestock SA office at admin@livestocksa.org.au or 08 8297 2299.

26 July 2019 Media Type: Media Release / Policy Area: Invasive Species /