Government tables new CFS Bill reflecting grower concerns

Nov 28, 2019

Grain Producers SA has welcomed the tabling of the revised Fire and Emergency Services (Miscellaneous) Amendment Bill in Parliament today.

The Bill incorporates key recommendations made by a Parliamentary Select Committee earlier this year, which includes giving SA Police officers the power to prevent recalcitrant farmers from harvesting or conducting other operations where that activity might cause a fire.

GPSA CEO Caroline Rhodes said the Bill explicitly recognised the success of industry self-regulation, as any direction to stop harvesting must be supported by the South Australian Grain Harvesting Code of Practice.

“We are pleased the Government has listened to the concerns of farmers,” she said.

“The grain growing community in South Australia has an extremely high awareness of the risks of fire and dangerous conditions for fire, as well as experience and capacity to extinguish them.

“Just last week we saw many grain growing community groups issue self-imposed harvest bans ahead of very hazardous fire weather conditions.”

Ms Rhodes said growers take their responsibility to harvest in safe conditions very seriously.

“No grower would want to be the source of a fire which causes loss of life and property in their own district,” she said.

“GPSA wishes to thank the members of the Select Committee and SA Fire and Emergency Services Commission (SAFECOM) CEO Dominic Lane for their commitment to consulting with the grain industry.

“GPSA now calls on the Government to adopt the remainder of the Select Committee’s recommendations, including the development of enforcement criteria and guidelines for the exercise of the power to direct the cessation of harvesting, as well as the provision of support for communication and awareness measures.”


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