Save the S​.​A. Outback

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Over two thirds of the Outback of South Australia is administered by the SA Pastoral Board, under the SA Pastoral Land Management & Conservation Act of 1989.  In Sept 2000, the SA Govt produced a new Pastoral Bill 2020 to replace the 1989 Act. There was a brief and poorly-advertised consultation period during 2019 with a mere 205 responses, the majority of whom gave ‘biodiversity’, ‘conservation’ and ‘sustainability’ as priorities, and there was strong support for having scientific representation on the Board, but the consultation outcomes to not appear to have been properly considered in the Bill.  The 2020 Bill will bring about the following changes:

·       Removes stocking limits on pastoral leases

·       Removes scientific expertise on the Board (the current Act requires an ecologist and a soil scientist)

·       Increases the number of pastoralists on the board from two to four, and for the Chair to be a pastoralist (automatic majority of the seven-member Board)

·       Increases the lease tenure from 42 to 100 years. (a move supported by pastoralists, but not the general public)

·       Removes the word ‘Conservation’ from the title of the Bill, and does not mention ‘biodiversity’ or ‘conservation;’ anywhere within the Bill.

·       SA Govt has already re-formed the Pastoral Board as though the 2020 Bill was in force: There are currently five pastoralists on the six-member Board, when the 1989 Act (still in force) calls for two. Five are pastoralists and all six have agricultural interests.  

We call upon the SA Government to 

·      Cease and desist from any attempt to bring the Pastoral Bill 2020 to the SA Parliament

·      Disband and reform the Pastoral Board, so that its membership is consistent with the current SA Pastoral Act 1989.