The State Liberals announced a plan to completely reform the broken Natural Resources Management (NRM) system if elected in March 2018.
A Liberal Government will abolish the current NRM Boards and establish Landscape SA, a new agency which will be responsible for the natural resources management strategy across South Australia.
The Liberal Government will also cap annual land and water levies, restore independence and put control of natural resource management back into regions and local communities.
“The current NRM system is broken, lacks independence and has become another taxation source for the Labor Government,” Shadow Minister for Environment David Speirs said.
“We will completely reform the NRM system by establishing Landscape SA which will restore independence and put control of natural resource management back into our regions. We will also cap annual land and water levy rises to ease the cost of living of our families and businesses.”
Mr Spiers said Labor increased the NRM levy by $6.8 million last year.
“Landscape SA will consist of nine regional boards replacing the existing NRM Boards and importantly all levies collected in a region will be spent in that region. Importantly, three of the seven board members on each Board will be democratically elected by the local community,” he said.
Liberal candidate for Finniss and dairy farmer at Tooperang David Basham said the management of natural resources was a significant issue, not only for the primary producers in the Fleurieu region, but the wider community.
“These reforms will be fundamental to restoring the community’s faith in the NRM system by increasing independence and transparency and giving the local community more control,” he said.
“The $2 million in levies that are to be quarantined each year will help community organisations and not-for-profit groups in the Fleurieu region to deliver on the ground environmental projects.”