Thursday, 8 March 2018
Resource protection for industry well supported
THE Chaffey electorate has remained conservative since 1975 and was retained by the Liberal and Country League party and Liberals until 1997, when Karlene Maywald won the seat for the SA Nationals and held it until 2010. It covers the Riverland region of Renmark and includes the towns of Berri, Barmera, Loxton and Waikerie. Ms Maywald held her position until she was defeated in 2010 by Liberal Tim Whetstone, who still holds the seat. Mr Whetstone, Labor’s Sim Singh-Malhi, SA Best’s Michelle Campbell, Greens’ candidate Philip Pointer, Dignity Party’s Richard Challis and Australian Conservatives’ Trevor Scott will contest the seat of Chaffey on March 17.
What do you see as the major issue affecting SA agriculture? How would you rectify this?
RICHARD CHALLIS: The constantly narrowing gap between costs and what the farmer can get for their produce is the most immediate problem we are facing. The answer is complex but it involves diversification of product, opening up new markets, cost reductions and the strictest of quality control. Government can help with scientific input to allow product improvement and diversification, trade promotions and agreements to open up new markets and infrastructure improvements to reduce costs and improve access to markets
What are your views on allowing mining on prime farming land in Chaffey?
RICHARD CHALLIS: Kelly Vincent and the Dignity Party are very strongly in favour of sustainability. Destruction of agricultural land which could be producing food and fibre for thousands of years for a short-term financial hit of mining is unsustainable. The Dignity Party will strongly oppose any proposal for mining that would destroy prime agricultural land.
Do you support the moratorium on genetically-modified crops? Why?
RICHARD CHALLIS: The Dignity Party is in favour of decisions made based on sound scientific and economic evidence. At the moment the GM moratorium is justified on economic grounds as 38 nations in the world, including most of the European Union, have major restrictions on the import of GMO organisms. The Dignity Party supports the moratorium on GMOs but believes the present expiry date is too far away and the matter needs to be re-examined regularly as the scientific and econ