Legislative Council: Tuesday, August 29, 2023


Question Time

Sheep and Goat Electronic Identification

The Hon. N.J. CENTOFANTI (Leader of the Opposition) (14:42): My question is to the Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development regarding sheep and goat electronic identification. Does the minister consider it appropriate that farmers who were promised subsidised electronic tags by her government back in June have been given absolutely no information on when or how they will be able to apply for these tags?

Members interjecting:

The PRESIDENT: Order! The honourable Leader of the Opposition, ignore the Hon. Mr Wortley.

The Hon. K.J. Maher: We do, sir.

The PRESIDENT: Wise man.

The Hon. C.M. SCRIVEN (Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, Minister for Forest Industries) (14:43): I thank the honourable member for her question and I hope she is actually interested in listening to the answer. What I do think is appropriate is to be able to work through, in appropriate consultation with the industry, around the best mechanisms to implement the promises that we have made as a state government.

As members may recall, in June we announced that there would be an additional investment of $9.4 million, as part of the state government's 2023-24 budget, to support the implementation of the first stage of electronic identification for farmed sheep and goats. This is a particularly important initiative. We support adopting a national approach to the individual tracking of sheep and farmed goats, so that we can further improve our world-leading livestock traceability systems. We want to ensure that they remain fit for purpose.

I am very glad to say that the announcements that we made were well received by industry, and that included the financial package to provide support of 75 per cent towards the cost of essential supply chain EID infrastructure, with support initially targeting processor and saleyard sectors, and a 50 per cent EID device discount for lambs and kids for the coming two financial years. I announced at that time that we would continue to work with industry on any further support going forward.

Bringing the cost down of the eligible EID devices is designed to target breeding animals that will be retained in the system over coming years, and this will help to avoid the cost of double taking after 2027, when the system is fully implemented at that time. We are also making available a rebate for producers who have already purchased eligible EID devices since 1 January 2023, and that rebate continues to be available, and PIRSA is working through with industry on how to best manage and implement these.

We have also established a sheep and goat implementation team to continue to progress EID in South Australia and a PIRSA-led industry advisory committee is also being established with representation from all sectors of the supply chain. This committee will provide advice to government on EID implementation matters. As I have said in a number of forums, including in the media, we hope to have further detailed information within the coming weeks.