Voice provided to SA’s primary industries

Nov 30, 2023 | Column

Having recently submitted a final report to the South Australian government on the Developing primary industries project – and with Primary Producers SA celebrating 10 years in 2023 – it is pertinent to reflect on the transformation of PPSA and look ahead to the future.

A well-resourced and independent voice to government has been critical for the primary industries sector in recent years, particularly as producers grapple with variable seasonal and economic conditions re- forms in water policy and the government’s transition to a green economy agenda.

PPSA is proud to champion the significant contributions of the primary industries in this state and will continue to argue that continued investment in sustainable primary industries production and processing is key to securing the future of SA, to improving its landscapes and biodiversity, and to driving economic growth to benefit all residents, rural and urban alike.

In 2021, the SA government granted $1 million across two years to assist PPSA in developing primary industries in SA.

An expectation was the funding would support PPSA to represent key policy needs of primary industries to state government, particularly through input into legislative reform.

PPSA has proven to be an efficient and effective conduit to the sector by coordinating cross-industry engagement, while becoming a trusted adviser to the Primary Industries and Regional Development Minister and the chief executive of the Department of Primary Industries and Regions.

Firstly, PPSA has demonstrated its capacity to respond and adapt to the government priorities of the day, including but not limited to, preparedness for exotic animal disease incursions, the development of the Premier’s Green Economy strategy, developing an industry-wide approach to mitigating spray drift, and co-sponsoring the 2023 Primary Industries Forum.

Through improved professionalism and capacity, PPSA has assumed co-leadership of the formal PPSA-PIRSA Strategic Meetings held on a quarterly basis, in addition to establishing formal quarterly meetings with the minister.

These forums are critical to maintaining two-way dialogue and offer direct engagement between industry and government.

The funding has enabled PPSA to transform its business to become a professional representative body with a dedicated secretariat for the state’s primary producers, who are responsible for generating $17.3 billion in primary industries and agribusiness economic activity.

At the same time, funding enable PPSA to recruit a talented and diverse group of employees, who share the values of the organisation and work across its membership to formulate policy and advance the interests of primary producers in line with the funding deed.

Having secured financial support for a further three years from the SA government to supplement membership fees and in-kind support, PPSA will continue to deliver a dedicated industry outreach service, while seeking to co-design and deliver externally funded projects.

PPSA is proud to champion the significant contribution the primary industries sector makes across the broad portfolio of government policies and programs in our role as a peak industry body.

By providing a strong, united voice, we can help ensure our sector continues to thrive.

Details: Read the final report at ppsa.org. au/projects

This column was written by PPSA Chair Professor Simon Maddocks and first appeared in the 30 November 2023 edition of Stock Journal.

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