STOCK agents in NSW will now get a $4500 discount to come into line with new standards sweeping across the industry.
State government has announced it will subsidise 75 per cent costs for the Certificate IV in Property Services (Stock and Station Agency), which is now required for NSW agents representing clients, or brokering livestock, on more than 40 hectares.
Training Services NSW Executive Director David Collins said the Certificate IV course is now on the NSW Skills List, bringing the cost down from $6550 to $1960.
The Land understands the discount does not apply to those who have already paid for the training. It is understood the Certificate IV course was identified as part of a twice-yearly Skills List priority check.
Reforms to the Property, Stock and Business Agents Act were announced in November in an effort to clean up the real estate agency industry.
The new rules passes state parliament in March and take effect on July 1.
Stock and station agents advise and represent farmers and graziers in business transactions such as the buying and selling of livestock, wool, fertiliser, farming and grazing land, equipment and merchandise.
Australian Livestock and Property Agents Association chief executive Andy Madigan said Stock and Station agents played a critical role in preserving the biosecurity of the food chain and getting food from the paddock to plate.
“The new property licensing reforms are really important because these agents play a critical role in providing advice to rural property owners and livestock producers,” Mr Madigan said.
“They ensure livestock vendors provide food safety declarations when they bring livestock to saleyards, supermarkets, and for live and refrigerated meat exports.
“The producers have to declare to the agent information about their health practices and that animals are disease free, so people need to have confidence that agents offering these services are suitably qualified.”
Rural investors driving need for agents
Henry Pisaturo, Tamworth, is a stock agent who has completed the training and gone on to operate his own beef export marketing business and also start selling high end rural properties across Australia.
“It’s a great job – very demanding – but I get to deal with international buyers and travel all around Australia,” he said.
Victoria has the most stock agents, with more than 50 per cent of the national total.
The number of workers has fallen over the past five years and over the next five years the number of workers is expected to fall to 2,200.
The Good Universities Guide, however, predicts strong growth in demand for Stock and Station Agents as does Lyn Mellville who runs Academic Pavilion – a Tamworth based registered training organisation which trains stock and station agents.
Ms Mellville says a growing interest from local and overseas investors in NSW rural properties and livestock has created a greater demand for skilled stock and station agents.
Mr Madigan says the demand will remain relatively steady.
The truth about the demand for stock agents may be hard to quantify because Lyn says it’s a “silent industry”.
A stock and station agency doesn’t generally advertise or approach an employment provider. Networks and word of mouth drive employment, she says.