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Sheepmeat Council : Sheepmeat 2014
44 SHEEPMEAT COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA ANNUAL MUSTER 2014 It has been a year of firsts for Livestock SA – establishing as a new farm advocacy group for South Australian sheep, beef cattle and goat producers, setting policy, signing up members, and representing them to government, the community and other industry groups and businesses. Livestock SA – one year on in new advocacy structure Livestock SA is one of six commodity groups in South Australia which focuses on the needs of its members. Livestock SA works with Primary Producers SA (PPSA) on the cross- commodity issues affecting all farmers, such as transport and natural resources management. Getting started ... The first few months was spent in establishing Livestock SA, including: • Employing chief executive officer Deane Crabb. • Finding an office, rented from SA Dairyfarmers Association and co-located with PPSA. • Developing a website to communicate with members and stakeholders, at www.livestock.org.au. • Joining peak national bodies as the South Australian member (including the Sheepmeat Council of Australia). • Developing services for members, such as the provision of industrial and legal advice. With this establishment work complete, Livestock SA started work on advocacy on key issues impacting the industry in South Australia. As part of this process, meetings continue to be held around the State to get feedback from producers on how they would like Livestock SA to operate and the issues to tackle. Issues Based on feedback at meetings, and members of Livestock SA, ten priority issues were identified and promoted during the 2014 State Election campaign. Work has begun on these with the new Agriculture Minister and other Parliamentarians. These issues are: 1. Drought support for South Australian pastoralists 2. Reduction in the cost of water for livestock 3. Development of South Australia’s live export trade 4. More support for PIRSA, SARDI and Biosecurity SA 5. Review of the Pastoral Board and its activities 6. A more efficient transport system to allow for efficient volume movement of livestock 7. Need to balance agriculture with the environment and community 8. Maintaining and recognising the value of the Dog Fence 9. Encouragement for the next generation of primary producers 10. Funding for Livestock SA An immediate priority has been the drought in the SA pastoral region and ensuring that funding from the Federal drought package is available in South Australia, as well as provision of State Government support. Livestock SA was influential in getting both governments to recognise that the South Australian pastoral region is in drought and needs assistance. The State Government has re-established the South Australian Drought Reform Task Group, with Livestock SA representing PPSA. Funding This advocacy and industry assistance through Livestock SA is funded by levies paid by growers on sheep and cattle sales. The money is collected through the SA Sheep and Cattle Industry Funds under the SA Primary Industries Funding Schemes Act 1998 including 35 cents a head for every sheep transaction. All livestock producers who pay these industry levies are eligible to be members of Livestock SA and there is no additional cost. While contributions to the funds are compulsory, they can be refunded if requested by producers but the return rate is very, very low. "This is our opportunity to build a strong and independent voice for livestock producers and the group's success will be built on how well it engages with producers and the input they give in return." Richard Halliday, Livestock SA Chairman
Sheepmeat 2015 2016