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Northern Territory Cattlemen's Association

NTCA 2020 NT Election Policy Position

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Land Tenure, Pastoral Lands Act (PLA) and Native Vegetation Management

Maintain and enhance the productive capacity of the land under pastoral lease in the NT with sound legislation and regulation.

Water Management  and Security

Maintain the right of pastoral operations to draw water from surface or underground sources for stock and domestic purposes without the requirement for a water license.

The NTCA believes that uses other than stock and domestic must be monitored and regulated including extraction of water for mining and exploration.

The NTCA believes the Northern Territory Government must develop a water storage infrastructure management plan. This needs to be beyond any developed plans by agencies such as Power & Water.

Mining and Petroleum Exploration and Extraction

Ensure that the mandatory land access legislation introduced in the Petroleum Act with its 24 minimum standards including compensation be extended to the mining sector and the Minerals Act.  

Having strong legislation and regulation around mining and petroleum exploration and extraction ensures there is no threat to the integrity of:

  1. Ensuring a pre-defined set of rules and standards that must be met to correct any imbalance of power between landholder and resource company is flattened.
  2. Above and below ground water resources; 
  3. Livestock and agricultural production systems;
  4. People and associated primary production businesses in the NT.

Biosecurity - Animal and Plant Disease and Weed Management

The NTCA supports the continuing improvement and an increase in resources in biosecurity outcomes for the Northern Territory cattle industry achievable in a pastoral management system.

The NTCA wants to see the financial commitment of the NT Government increased by $15m to $20m over the next four years. This includes increases in resources for animal and plant disease and increased resources for weed management. 

There are no public washdown bays operational in the Northern Territory. With increased activity in the resource sector the risk of weed infestation imported from other jurisdiction increases substantially.

There has already been a global outbreak of African Swine Fever which has made its way to Timor-Leste and we have seen Siam Weed identified for the first time. There is currently not enough resources to respond to these outbreaks when or should they occur.

Bushfires NT

Return Bushfires NT to its previous structure which was less centralised and allowed for greater responsiveness for regional areas. This includes how calls to BushfireNT are handled and how operational matters like repairs to vehicles are handled.

Increase resources available to Bushfires NT by $2m per year for four years, effectively doubling its current Budget, to allow for more proactive land management through cool burning and to be better placed to respond to wildfires.

Aeromedical Retrieval

That the aeromedical service contracts for the northern region be identical to the southern region. The Top End contract requires a twin-engine solution compared to the southern region.

That runway inspections which lead to the identification of data to ensure there is the ability land at night be included as part of any future contract in the northern and southern region.


A beef industry that is serviced by roads capable of providing a reliable, safe means of road transport that meets the economic and social needs of all users in an equitable manner is fundamental to the economic success of the Northern Territory.
We must achieve a standard of beef roads capable to accommodate a 6-deck road train allowing producers to access markets year-round. 

Develop, implement and review a long-term infrastructure development master plan for beef roads, endorsed by government and industry, considering the future development potential of the NT in terms of agriculture, pastoralism and resources, and a strategy to secure commonwealth and other investment.

Maintain a focus on and commitment to the Federal Beef Roads initiative and introduce an annual NT Government allocation for NT beef roads.

Lobby the federal government to bring forward $500m of road funding to be spent over five years instead of the forecast 10 years. To see key roads such as the Western Ring Road and other major smaller roads such as Murranji Rd sealed to facilitate all year-round access for the Territory’s more than $500m in live exports.

NBN and Telecommunications

Members to have access to a reliable, high speed broadband delivered by wireless, satellite or fixed line, comparable to the speed and efficiency and price of services delivered to urban, residential and business users.

All members should have access to reliable and modern telephone and data services equivalent to services delivered in urban areas.

Energy, Fuel Costs and Rebates 

Protect and support industry competitive advantage through maintenance of rebate and other schemes for fuel and energy. 

Local Government Regional Councils

Effective management of municipalities and former community government councils (shires) excluding the pastoral estate.

Wild Dog Management 

An effective and coordinated program for the control of wild dogs in the NT and the elimination of the welfare and economic impact of wild dog attack.

Rural policing , Stock Squad, Stock Theft, Illegal Access to Pastoral Land, Vehicle Registration Program

The provision of adequate resourcing to enable adequate policing in regional and remote Northern Territory must be an NT Government priority.

Reduce the policing gaps across several areas which create problems for the operation of the pastoral sector. 

The NTCA encourages strengthening of trespass laws to deter unlawful entry by any person, including recreational users, to pastoral lands, including prosecution of offenders with an increase in penalties to act as a deterrent. In doing so, strengthens the right for pastoralist to manage biosecurity, weed spread, fire and prevent stock theft.

Create a workable platform so that police can, as part of their regular duties, be able to complete the registration and inspection of station vehicles to a set standard and suitable timeframe.

Environment, Conservation and Production

Through the active support and promotion of a viable and productive pastoral industry, maintain and promote conservation and production values across the NT by maintaining and increasing resourcing to the current network of research farms.  

Ensure that production and conservation are complementary and not mutually exclusive and the legislative environment relating to environmental regulation with which the pastoral sector operates does not inadvertently stop or impact on the operations of the diversification of the pastoral estate.

Support industry to meaningfully engage in policy development with government. 

Economic and Industry Profitability Program

Continue to grow and build the economic viability of the NT cattle industry and associated industries. The NTCA maintains the right of members to engage in a pastoral business activity that allows a sustainable and profitable future and the protection and utilisation of all resources required to enable a sustainable future for pastoral operations.

Ensure clear, consistent and reliable government policy to ensure long term stable investment and industry confidence.

Animal Welfare

The NTCA supports the continuing improvement in animal welfare outcomes for Northern Territory cattle achievable in a pastoral management system.

The NTCA does not support the addition of state-based regulations which will increase red tape. 

Livestock Transport

Ensure that regulations governing the transport of livestock allow for maximum efficiency and best possible welfare outcomes.

Adoption of livestock transport volumetric loading in the Northern Territory, as set out in the Animal Welfare Guidelines.


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