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South Australian Sheep Fund Consults on Future

19 November 2015

AUSTRALIA - The South Australian Sheep Advisory Group (SASAG) is seeking producer feedback on the future investment priorities of the SA Sheep Industry Fund (Fund) and the contribution rate to support its activities.

A Consultation Paper and Response Survey is being distributed, which describes how the Fund is currently being used, what it has achieved, and provides an update on the financial status of the Fund.

In recent years the transition to user-pay funding for government delivered disease control programmes, inflation, and expanded scope for programmes such as abattoir footrot surveillance and increased demand for Ovine Johne’s disease (OJD) vaccine has increased the Fund’s costs.

Consequently the current $0.35 contribution rate (which has been unchanged for seven years) is unable to cover these costs, eroding the Fund’s capital base to such an extent that it is now estimated that, if left unchanged, it will become unsustainable around 2017-18.

Chairperson of the SASAG, Mrs Leonie Mills said: “The Fund is a unique asset, owned by and operated for the benefit of South Australian sheep producers.

“Other states, especially Queensland, are very interested in establishing their own industry funds based on our model.

“However, change is vital for the Fund’s future and the work it supports in protecting and furthering our industry."

The South Australian sheep industry is incredibly valuable with 7,000 sheep properties employing around 15,000 people, all benefiting from the Fund which supports projects that underpin the health, productivity and profitability of its sheepmeat and wool supply chain.

“As the group responsible for providing the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Fisheries with advice on how the Fund should be used, it is very important that the SASAG base this advice on producer feedback,” said Mrs Mills.

TheSheepSite News Desk