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Cuts Could Jeopardise Livestock Farmers

08 November 2012

AUSTRALIA- New South Wales (NSW) Farmers said members are concerned at the cuts the NSW Government announced today to frontline services in the bush.

NSW Farmers President Fiona Simson said members are apprehensive some of the positions within the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) delivering frontline services would no longer exist.

“Our members value the work and contributions local district agronomists and livestock officers have made to their businesses and the communities in which they live,” she said.

“I too am concerned the cuts may pre-empt what the new framework will look like and I hope it is not indicative of the government’s commitment to resourcing the new agency.

“But NSW Farmers is at the table reminding government what a valuable resource these services are to the productive farming. We are also on the reference panel to ensure the new agency delivers better and more effective services to our members in the future.

“We have sought assurances that the value of the DPI will continue to be delivered through the new agency and that the restructure will refocus on the research and delivery we have been calling on for the past 3 years.

“The government’s terms of reference for the new agency have given me and other panel members confidence we are not just a rubber stamp but that members will be fully consulted about the new structure.

“I remain optimistic this is the case but if it turns out not to be so, our members can rest assured the government will be hearing from us loud and clear from the grassroots up.”

The government announced on 4 October a new agency, Local Land Services, will look after a range of services from 2014 including biosecurity, the pest control travelling stock route and natural disaster functions of the Livestock Health and Pest Authority (LHPA), the natural resource management planning and funding allocation roles of the Catchment Management Authority (CMA) and the advisory services of the Department of Primary Industries.

NSW Natural Resources Commissioner Dr John Keniry AM will chair the reference panel to oversee the construction of the new Local Land Services with the assistance of Executive Director of the Australian Farm Institute Mick Keogh.

TheCattleSite News Desk

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