The environmental impacts of agricultural primary production in South Australia are covered by the Natural Resources Management Act 2004 (SA). Details of this legislation are available on the DEWNR and PIRSA websites.
The Pastoral Land Management and Conservation Act 1989 (SA) deals with the management of sheep and cattle grazing on native vegetation on leases of public land in the outback areas of South Australia. Pastoral leases (or runs) are often thousands of square kilometres in size and many are unfenced. Stock is generally untended and annual (or more frequent) mustering is used to collect stock for sale. In unfenced areas, the location or spread of stock is mainly determined by access to water points. Both natural and artificial watering points are used. The objects of this Act include both resource exploitation and conservation. Conservation objectives are primarily met through a statutory programme of scientific assessment of the condition of land prior to granting or renewal of a lease. Maximum stocking rates are set on the basis of the capacity and condition of the land. Enforcement provisions of the Act include the issue of orders by the Pastoral Board such as orders to de-stock the land for a specified period [s 43]. As pastoral leases consist of rights over public land, an ultimate sanction always exists of cancelling or refusing to renew a lease. To date, this option has never been used.
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