Ag minister backs three-way cost split on sheep e-tags
The federal agriculture has backed the proposition put forward by Sheep Producers Australia that the cost of implementing electronic traceability of sheep and goats should be borne equally three ways by industry, states and his government.
Last week, Sheep Producers Australia chief executive Bonnie Skinner said the usual starting point for a conversation expected to crystallise in 2023 on the cost of traceability centred around such a three-way split.
South Australian Labor Primary Industries minister Clare Scriven told Flow on Friday that she had called for a significant federal contribution to the cost at the Agriculture Ministers meeting conducted online on Wednesday.
Speaking with Flow on Tuesday, the agriculture and emergency management minister Murray Watt told Flow:
"I think that one of the pleasing things about this is that producers and the industry generally are very willing to put their hands in their own pocket to help pay this because they obviously draw the financial benefit from putting these systems in place.
"They want to make sure they are being backed in by government and there are very clear commitments now from federal and state governments to put our hands in our pockets as well to help fund this.
"At the last federal budget in October the Albanese government set aside $46 million for this livestock traceability system and part of that is about building a national database. You can't just have all those tags running around without a database to track them. We've also got money there to help subsidise the states and industry for the purchase cost of ear tags as well. We feel that that is a fairly substantial contribution from a federal level, and I see a number of states are coming to the party themselves with their own contributions towards tagging. There will need to be a contribution from industry as well, but it was important to me at a federal level that we made a serious financial contribution and put our money where our mouth is because I think that then that's a good motivation for states, territories and industry to follow suit."
Hear the full interview on the Flow podcast player below: