Livestock SA has welcomed the State Government’s significant investment in the state’s red meat and wool industries as part of the 2019-20 State Budget.
Among the funding commitments in the budget was $7.5 million over three years to implement a red meat and wool industry growth program, $24.3m towards road and utilities infrastructure at the new Thomas Foods International abattoir at Murray Bridge and $10m towards the SA Dog Fence.
Livestock SA President Joe Keynes said it was pleasing to see government recognising the importance of the livestock sector to the South Australian economy.
“The red meat and wool industry growth program aims to improve productivity in the sector, help with cyber and technology adoption and vital infrastructure, and support the One Biosecurity program which provides greater traceability and market advantage for livestock producers,” he said.
“The investment in this program shows that the government has recognised the importance of the SA Sheep and Beef Industry Blueprints in setting the agenda for industry development in SA.
“Livestock SA has worked closely with all sectors of industry and government in the development of the Blueprints and they really do provide a blueprint for the state’s red meat and wool industries going forward.
“New investment in our industry is always very welcome and will support the continued development of programs and research into the red meat and wool industry.”
A BDO Econsearch report released in April, jointly commissioned by the State Government and the South Australian Dog Fence Board, showed that replacing sections of the ageing Dog Fence would generate a net benefit to SA of up to $120.3 million over 20 years.
Mr Keynes said the State Government had recognised this economic benefit by contributing $10m, adding to the $10m commitment by the Federal Government and $5m pledged by industry.
“The BDO Econsearch report indicated that a new dog fence will reduce wild dog management costs for pastoralists by up to $97 million,” he said.
“Further to this, sheep enterprise sales income is expected to increase by up to $69.7 million with a new dog fence.”
The $24.3m towards road and utilities infrastructure at the new TFI abattoir at Murray Bridge will come over three years, with $6.4 million from the Economic and Business Growth Fund.
“Livestock producers across SA were thrilled to hear the announcement from TFI earlier this month that it would be building a new multi-million-dollar abattoir as it provided surety for the industry,” Mr Keynes said.
“The new abattoir will be in a location which is very well positioned to service the whole of the state.
“This investment from government will further underpin some of the key objectives within the SA Sheep Industry and SA Beef Industry Blueprints, which have a major focus on increasing consistency of supply of premium products based on key credentials including product integrity, animal welfare, natural resource stewardship, product quality and nutritional value.”
Mr Keynes said $11m for improved access to the Dublin Saleyards and $14 million to upgrade the Naracoorte and Kroemers Crossing roundabouts – projects which will both take place in the 2019-20 financial year – was further welcome news for the livestock sector.
“These investments will help to improve efficiency within the supply chain, resulting in greater returns for livestock producers and regional communities,” he said.