Since its formation, a number of concerns have been raised with Primary Producers SA (PPSA) regarding mining and gas activities.

In December, a PPSA NRM Committee meeting was attended by DMITRE1 staff with responsibility for the regulation of mining and gas projects. The DMITRE representatives provided an overview of the two separate mining and gas regulatory systems. It has been critical for PPSA and the key commodity associations to develop an understanding of the regulatory systems in order to effectively represent primary producers and assist primary producers to have their voices heard.

Unconventional gas exploration was a key topic for discussion at the recent meetings of PPSA and Livestock SA in Penola, attended by the Honourable Leon Bignell, Minister for Agriculture, Food and Fisheries. Stuart Sharman (Limestone Coast Grape and Wine Council) provided an insightful presentation on issues arising for wine grape growers from unconventional gas proposals.

PPSA has also been developing an agreed set of principles on mining and gas activities.

These cover the following areas:

  • Community engagement, with early and ongoing collaboration, inclusive processes, maximum transparency and disclosure, and genuine consideration of community concerns;
  • Protection of water resource quality and quantity;
  • Recognition of the current and long term potential value of food, wine and fibre production;
  • Protection of Australia and South Australia’s reputation and food, wine and fibre brands;
  • Careful consideration of environmental, social and economic outcomes over long term timeframes (not just decades but centuries and even millennia);
  • Long term decommissioning and rehabilitation arrangements (and, where appropriate, insurance and bonds);
  • Consideration of biosecurity and workplace health and safety issues, including in land access arrangements;
  • Payment of adequate and appropriate compensation for the full range of costs where land access agreements are reached.

PPSA wholeheartedly agrees with the National Farmers Federation that the profitability and long term sustainability of food and fibre production – along with our reputation for safe, quality food – must not be compromised.

Water resources which are essential for primary production also must not be compromised. Furthermore, equity needs to be achieved between water management policies for agriculture, horticulture and viticulture and those for mining, gas and forestry.

PPSA urges the regulators of mining and gas activities to seriously consider the long term value to the state, regions and local communities of agriculture, horticulture and viticulture.

Contact: Rob Kerin, Chairman, PPSA 0439 933 103