The state Liberals will reform the Natural Resources Management (NRM) system if elected in March next year.
Current NRM boards would be abolished to establish Landscape SA, which would be responsible for natural resources management across South Australia.
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.Adrian Pederick
Opposition environment spokesman David Speirs said the current NRM system was broken, lacked independence and had become taxation source for the current government.
“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,” he said.
“We will also cap annual land and water levy rises to ease the cost of living of our families and businesses struggling with skyrocketing electricity prices and Labor’s massive hikes to the ESL.”
Mr Speirs said the current government increased the NRM levy by $6.8 million last year and regional communities were hit hardest.
Landscape SA would consist of nine regional boards replacing the existing NRM boards and all levies collected in a region would be spent in that region.
“Importantly, three of the seven board members on each board will be democratically elected by the local community,” Mr Speirs said.
Member for Hammond Adrian Pederick welcomed the announcement and said the proper management of natural resources in Hammond was a major concern.
“The management of our natural resources is a significant issue, not only for the primary producers in Hammond, but the wider community,” he said.
Mr Pederick said the $2 million in levies to be quarantined each year would help community organisations groups in Hammond to deliver on-the-ground environmental projects.
The Standard has sought comment from Hammond candidates Kelly Gladigau, for SA Best, and Mat O’Brien, for Labor.