Proposal to temporarily lift the Grain Industry Fund contribution rate

Wednesday 31 March 2021

On behalf of the Grain Producers SA (GPSA) Board of Directors, I write to advise that lens snail has been detected and contained in metropolitan Adelaide and we have a unique opportunity to eradicate this snail to protect our industry.

To undertake an eradication program, followed by monitoring for two years to demonstrate the success of the program, a temporary lift of 11 cents per tonne in the Grain Industry Fund (GIF) contribution rate is proposed for two years based on average seasonal conditions.

To progress this proposal, the Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development David Basham has requested GPSA consult with contributors to the Grain Industry Fund.

Lens snail was detected in the Adelaide metropolitan area by Commonwealth Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DAWE) officials during routine border surveillance. The Department of Primary Industries and Regions (PIRSA) has since conducted additional surveillance and detected the snail at three neighbouring businesses.

DAWE and PIRSA have placed these four sites under strict biosecurity orders, preventing any entry or movement of material and vehicles from the properties that may harbour lens snails, effectively containing lens snail to the known locations. Further surveillance in regional SA has not detected lens snail at any other site.

The eradication program is a significant and complex undertaking which includes clean up and treatment of large amount of heavy equipment at the sites where the snail has been detected, followed by two years of monitoring to demonstrate eradication has been successful. This is estimated to cost $1.663 million.

To cover this cost, a temporary lift in the Grain Industry Fund contribution rate by 11 cents per tonne is proposed, making the rate 31 cents per tonne as of 1 July 2021. The 11 cents per tonne increase would only be in place for two years, subject to average seasons.

There is a unique opportunity to act prudently to immediately eradicate lens snail while it is confined to the metropolitan area to ensure there is no future detrimental impact on market access for the South Australian grain industry. 

More information about lens snail is available in a PIRSA fact sheet.

Upholding high standards of grain hygiene has been one of the key drivers of the Market Ready campaign and the GPSA Board believes the eradication of lens snail is vital to ensure South Australian growers can maintain these high standards.

Furthermore, in line with one of the project areas of the SA Grain Industry Blueprint, GPSA has revamped the South Australian Grain Market Access Group (SAGMAG) to coordinate the industry’s response to this issue. SAGMAG has endorsed this proposal.

A priority area of the Blueprint’s biosecurity and market access pillar is for SA grain to have access to the world’s best markets through maintaining high standards of grain hygiene, food safety and product quality. The decision to pursue eradication of lens snail aligns with this priority area.

Again, agreement by South Australian grain growers to temporarily lift the GIF contribution rate by 11 cents per tonne over two years would enable PIRSA to urgently treat the quarantined sites and continue to monitor the sites to ensure proof of freedom.

GPSA believes this is a prudent and responsible action and as an industry we need to work together to act quickly to eradicate this snail and minimise any potential impact on the profitability of South Australian grain growers. We therefore request your support on this important matter.

If you would like to provide any feedback on the temporary lifting of the Grain Industry Fund contribution rate by 11 cents per tonne over two years, please reply to this notice before the end of the notification and objection period at 5pm, Friday 16 April 2021.

Yours sincerely

Adrian McCabe

Chair, Grain Producers SA

If you require further information, please contact GPSA Policy Director Andrew Lehmann on 0437 577 767.