Underpass scheme given green light

PRIMARY producers installing underpasses to help with safer movement of livestock will be able to receive up to $70,000 towards their infrastructure project.

The South Australian Government’s Livestock Underpass Scheme will match farmers’ contributions dollar-for-dollar up to $70,000 in a bid to improve safety and boost on-farm productivity.

The $3m scheme has been welcomed by the South Australian Dairyfarmers’ Association, which has previously lobbied the government for an infrastructure scheme.

According to the association, many South Australian dairy farms move their herd across public roads on a daily basis, presenting several issues for farmers and road users alike.

The uric acid dropped by cows on road surfaces also has adverse affects by accelerating deterioration.

Association president and Allendale East dairy farmer John Hunt said there were 10 projects in the pipeline to start off with and the association expected to have the application in for those projects within the next week.

“The Dairy Industry Action Plan, has set an ambitious target for the future in developing the dairy industry in this state and this is an excellent example of what can happen when industry and government work together in a common goal,” Mr Hunt said.

The association believes the installation of underpasses would improve farm productivity as bisected paddocks will become single paddocks.

Primary Industries and Regional Development Minister David Basham said grants for farmers to build livestock underpasses had been successfully applied interstate, adding it was pleasing to deliver for the dairy industry, which had championed the program for many years.

“Livestock underpasses remove the need for farmers to herd livestock across roads to access facilities such as dairies, as well as eliminating traffic delays and reducing the risk of road accidents and damage to road surfaces,” Mr Basham said.

“This means a safer working environment for the livestock industry as well as for families driving through agricultural areas.”