PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO GM BILL WERE UNNECESSARY
It is very disappointing that once again SA farmers have been let down by their parliament.
The pleas of scientists and farmers to modernise and improve the sustainability of SA's agricultural sector have been ignored.
It seems disingenuous that those who voted against the Genetically Modified Crops Management (Designated Area) Amendment Bill 2019 proposed things such as unnecessary compensation schemes as justification for their position. Such propositions are equivalent to offering solutions to problems that don't exist.
Proposing options that have been rejected in Australia and across the world after serious consideration, is not how you make good policy.
Earlier this year, a WA Parliamentary Committee found there was no systemic GM contamination issue in WA, and hence no compensation scheme was required. This is the same experience as in other Australian states and across the world where GM crops are grown.
SA's own legal system already provides the most effective mechanism should any farmer be entitled to compensation for any matter.
Farmers are the experts when it comes to coexistence of farming practices and grain handlers are the experts at ensuring sound export, storage and handling practices are followed.
Growers and handlers across the world have proven their abilities and it is a dark day for the SA grains industry, which has not been trusted to get on with what they do best and allow SA farming to become more sustainable and profitable.
This is not an academic or theoretical debate. There are examples of successful GM cropping in coexistence with other farming practices right across Australia and the world.
If the SA opposition and crossbenchers are serious about their support of the science of GM and the state's farmers, then we're committed to sitting down with them and working through what are rational and reasonable solutions to the concerns they've raised.
CropLife Australia chief executive officer.
OPEN NATIONAL PARKS TO PROVIDE LIVESTOCK FEED
As the drought continues to bite in Qld and NSW, it is time to act with compassion and open the national parks to livestock producers who have no money, no feed, or stock condition preventing sale.
This will also reduce the fire risk and potential loss of native wildlife. If water is a problem, it can be trucked to the parks for livestock.
Desperate times demand a desperate response.
Eight years ago, Bush Heritage Australia bought Carnarvon Station in Qld and locked it up as an area for conservation. It has feed and water that could be utilised by starving cattle and is a potential fire risk.
We call on such property owners to show compassion and open up their properties.
Meanwhile, we are trying to make an application for government assistance, but the hurdles are so high and the documentation demanded so extensive that it is almost impossible for battling producers to complete.
Counsellors tell us it takes three to six months to receive a response once the application is submitted.
Federal Minister for Water Resources, Drought, Rural Finance, Natural Disaster and Emergency Management David Littleproud said it was only three weeks.
But, what producers need is feed and water for their stock.
We call on the government to make available immediate funding of $50,000 when an application is submitted to hold producers over until the loans are drawn down.
Australian Cattle Industry Council, Kew, Vic.
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