The SA dairy industry has released its report card into the major parties ahead of this week’s state election.
The Stock Journal reports the SA Dairyfarmers’ Association sent letters discussing some of the major issues affecting dairyfarmers to Labor, Liberal, SA Best and the Australian Conservatives, with their responses rated.
These issues included support of the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission’s interim report into the dairy industry; transport and support for the 90-day infrastructure plan; structure and delivery of natural resource management in the SA; planning, mining and gas; energy pricing; research and development and protection of PIRSA as a standalone department with the proper funding of SARDI.
Parties were also rated on their expected capacity to deliver after the election.
The Australian Conservatives rated with the highest score, which a spokesperson said was not surprising, considering the familiarity that Rob Brokenshire MLC has with the rural issues facing the South Australian dairy industry.
The Liberals also performed well with energy policy holding them back from sharing top spot.
Labor and SA Best fared the worst.
The spokesperson said Labor was particularly marked down for their dogged refusal to change the NRM system, which through a policy of centralisation under a Labor government has fundamentally caused the NRM to lose its way.
They said SA Best’s response to energy also scored low simply because a mere commitment to talk about the energy needs of farmers does not reflect a considered policy position.
SADA chief executive officer Andrew Curtis said SADA formulated its areas of concern by choosing to concentrate on matters the state government can influence.
“There are many other issues that affect dairyfarmers in SA that were not listed in the questionnaire because they were largely out of the control of SA,” he said.
“These topics however, are areas where state government has influence.
“The knowledge of people like (Australian Conservative) Rob Brokenshire and (Liberal candidate and former SADA president) David Basham, both of whom have a long history in the sector, shone through in the responses.
“We also urge non-dairy SA citizens to remember that SA’s primary sector and particularly dairy industry is the calcium in the state’s bones.
“We urge voters to support the policies that make SA stand out from the pack.”