WILD DOG STRATEGIC PLAN

The Hon. J.S.L. DAWKINS         (         15:18         :35         ):  I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation a question regarding the Wild Dog Strategic Plan.   

Leave granted.

         The Hon. J.S.L. DAWKINS:  The South Australian Wild Dog Action Group (SAWDAG) was established by the minister and held its inaugural meeting in December 2013. The 12-member group was appointed by the minister to take a statewide view of wild dog management and represents landholders, industry, Indigenous groups and conservation groups. SAWDAG's terms of reference include providing advice to the minister on improvements to wild dog management in the state, proposing sustainable funding models for long-term wild dog management in South Australia, the monitoring of the National Wild Dog Action Plan, and the development of a State Wild Dog Strategic Plan.    

On 18 July this year SAWDAG reached its first milestone and provided a draft five-year Wild Dog Strategic Plan for South Australia to the minister. However, since the original communication with the minister two months have passed, and the action group is yet to receive a response or indication of if or when the draft plan will go out for public consultation. My questions to the minister are:    

1.Will the minister advise the council when he will respond to SAWDAG regarding the draft five-year Wild Dog Strategic Plan for South Australia that has been provided to him?    

2.Will the minister advise the council if and when the draft five-year Wild Dog Strategic Plan for South Australia will go out for public consultation and, if so, what form will the public consultation take?    

         The Hon. I.K. HUNTER         (Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation, Minister for Water and the River Murray, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation)         (         15:20         :25         ):  I thank the honourable member for his most important question. Wild dogs are, of course, a national issue. South Australia has endorsed the National Wild Dog Action Plan, which was released by the commonwealth on 4 July this year. The plan has been put together by industry, through WoolProducers Australia, and it is important that the livestock industry has continued their leadership as they are prime beneficiaries of wild dog control, of course.    

In November of last year I established the South Australian Wild Dog Advisory Group, as the honourable member has said, to provide recommendations and oversee the implementation of priority action for South Australia under state and national wild dog plans. The group has met on five occasions, with a focus on determining policy actions and investigating opportunities for long-term funding models to improve the management of wild dog impacts in South Australia. The advisory group is charged with finalising the South Australian Wild Dog Strategic Plan and implementing this, in coordination with the National Wild Dog Action Plan.    

My office has received a draft of the state strategic plan and a report on potential improvements to wild dog management from the SA Wild Dog Advisory Group. I am waiting on advice from my department on the draft plan and the accompanying report. I look forward to receiving the advice shortly and engaging with the community on the issues that are raised.