Member for Narungga Fraser Ellis MP appreciated the Minister for Emergency Services the Hon. Corey Wingard MP meeting with a group of local farmers and CFS officers in Kadina on 16 January, to talk about the draft Fire and Emergency Services (Miscellaneous) Bill.
“This was a good opportunity for the Minister to hear first-hand from farmers and CFS personnel who already run a very effective Harvest Code of Practice and SMS alert text messaging system that is well supported by the farming community.
“The group had an open discussion about the implications of proposed new legal powers for CFS officers to direct farmers to stop harvesting in certain weather conditions, and how such a system may logistically work.”
There was discussion around enforcement, funding support, weather data systems and existing communication procedures, and the need for alert systems to continue to be farmer-run was emphasised.
The Minister pledged more consultation to discuss the regulation details, and specifically with Grain Producers SA and Yorke Peninsula/Copper Coast CFS Group officers, the latter he described as having a well-earned State-side reputation for running a very effective communication system in conjunction with farmers across the Narungga electorate.
“Districts across the state can learn much from how systems are working on Yorke Peninsula, they are leaders nationally in what they’re doing,” Minister Wingard said.
“It is clear we all want the same outcome – that is preventing fires before they start, and a way to stop the very few people who are doing the wrong thing when 99.9% are already acting responsibly.”
The Select Committee on the Fire and Emergency Services (Miscellaneous) Amendment Bill is accepting submissions until 1 February, and local farmers and CFS are encouraged to continue to share their views.
For information on how to make a submission, the terms of reference and for Bill details visit the SA Parliament website at www.parliament.sa.gov.au (refer Select Committees), or call the Narungga electorate office on 8832 2455.