Home' Grower : August 2012 Contents The South Australian Grower -- August 2012
SARAC selection committee chairman Neil Andrew says so many growers have
requested a refund on their levies that it is not possible for the arrangement
with the industry development board and Citrus Growers SA to continue.
New state body, new levy
By MAX OPRAY
committee could see
citrus grower levies cut
to a fraction of existing rates,
according to Agriculture
Minister Gail Gago.
The new South Australian
Regional Advisory Committee
will be funded by a dollar a
tonne levy, replacing the Citrus
Industry Development Board
and Citr us Growers of South
Australia, which together charge
growers $3.85t for some citrus
"Where it was nearly four
dollars a tonne in many cases,
now we have one industr y body,
one levy, costing one dollar,"
Ms Gago said.
The government has
successfully pushed the proposal
through the Upper House, and
now only needs Lower House
"Being such a long-standing,
controversial issue, I can't say
how pleased I am to have won
the support of the Opposition
and minor parties, which was no
easy thing," she said.
"We now expect a smooth
sailing through the Lower
House given the Government
has the numbers.
"Times are tough in the citrus
industry at the moment, so it's
even more important they have
a tough industr y body
identifying priorities and
"The committee will address a
new management plan,
consulting extensively with the
SA citr us industry to guide
decisions for funding specific
projects -- an industry-led
But there are concerns that
the new body will not have the
capability to provide the ser vices
CIDB chairman Richard
Fewster is worried growers will
"What ser vices would be
provided by Citrus Australia and
what ser vices would have to be
provided by the new single
body in this State?" he said.
"It ranges from biosecurity
right through to crop
information -- it will be
impossible for them to receive
those ser vices under the $1
SARAC selection committee
chairman Neil Andrew said
there was not much choice
about making the changes.
"There's been some
complaints about there not
being a vote or enough
consultation for this change,
but the fact is growers have
walked away from the current
system," he said.
"So many growers have
requested a refund on their
levies that it's not possible for
the present arrangement with
the board and Citrus Growers
of South Australia to
"This hasn't been foisted on
growers. The industry
arrangements have collapsed
and so an alternative has had to
be set up."
The selection committee is
currently reviewing applications
for positions on the new board.
Up to seven members,
including a chairperson, will
serve a term of up to three
Mr Andrew said 14
nominations had been received,
and the selection committee was
in the process of reviewing
"Our priorities are that we're
looking for some regional
representation. Growers will
dominate the process, but we also
want people with other interests in
the chain such as marketing and
packing," he said.
The new board will have at least
four growers and one person with
strong links to the markets.
Mr Andrew hopes to start making
appointments in early August, and
says the transfer of responsibilities
from Citrus Growers of South
Australia and CIDB to SARAC will
"I imagine the transfer will happen
by the end of September, and before
that SARAC would have assumed
many responsibilities, but there will
still be lingering board
responsibilities that will have to be
progressively terminated, with
leftover funds passed onto SARAC
at the appropriate time," he said.
Nominations for new
board under review
Rates barely a quarter of
Concerns industry services
will be reduced
Citrus Australia welcomes
regional advisory committee
PCA gets new chairman
CITRUS Australia has pledged its full
support towards the establishment of
a single body to represent the South
Australian citrus industry.
Citrus Australia chairperson Tania
Chapman said the reform had the
support of a majority of SA citrus
growers and their representative state
body Citrus Growers of South
"Growers asked for reform more
than three years ago, and in fact
started the process by forming Citrus
Australia Ltd to take over the 60-year-
old federated national peak body,"
They wanted a leaner, more effective
structure to better represent an
Reforms at the State level will
complete the process which aims to
cut waste and duplication and
maximise savings and efficiencies
which can be given back to the
"No more costly independent
reviews, reports and consultation. It is
now time for action," Tania said.
"I have spoken to many SA citrus
growers who are fed up with the
disunity and wasted resources and
just want the new structure in place.
"The season has started and we
need to put all our energy into
The SA government through
Agriculture Minister Gail Gago has
worked closely with industry through
this challenging period.
"The Minister's support and recent
announcement that any surplus upon
the wind-up of the SA Citrus Board
will be returned to industry is very
welcome," Tania said.
"Together with the proposed $1-per-
tonne contribution rate, and national
levy funds, all of the important
services can continue.
"I look forward to working with the
selection committee in appointing
skilled and passionate people to the
SA Regional Advisory Committee, and
then engaging the new body to lead
SA citrus industry's needs."
AT the recent Protected Cropping
Australia annual general meeting,
Graeme Smith stepped down as
Mr Smith has been at the helm of
the peak industry body for 13 years,
and was president of the Australian
Hydroponic and Greenhouse
Association before it was restructured
He is succeeded by former deputy
chairman Marcus Brandsema while
Robert Hayes has taken the role of
Mr Smith has been instrumental in
the development of this fast-moving
industry sector for 25 years, and his
relentless work ethic and passion will
Mr Smith will still be involved in
other PCA-related matters and is
staying on as Board Director.
He was awarded life membership of
the PCA for his 13 years of industry
leadership and tireless support.
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