Reprieve for exports, but Labor gunning for kill – National Rural News – Livestock – Cattle – Queensland Country Life

A great shame that a certain Party, founded by shearers over a century ago,  has such antipathy for this vital rural industry. It employs thousands of people in Australia’s North and is one of the biggest employers of indigenous people in the country. Why the supposed party of the Working Man has thrown its lot in with the Latte Set is a mystery.

The ALP member for Fremantle is half right, beef is not an everyday commodity for Indonesian consumers, but there is not  snowball’s chance in hell of Indonesia being self-sufficient for beef. The country is smaller than Queensland, more than 2/3 of the land is swamp or mountain, and it supports over 200 million people. If the live export trade ceases, they won’t buy Australian boxed beef, it is more likely to be frozen Indian water buffalo that fills the market niche, and it won’t be a 1:1 substitution. Indonesians hate frozen meat in general.

From Queensland Country Life

Reprieve for exports, but Labor gunning for kill

10 Dec, 201103:00 AM
FEDERAL Nationals Leader Warren Truss said Labor voted for a temporary reprieve for the live cattle trade at its weekend conference.But the 215 to 173 vote result showed that the “dogmatic determination of those within Labor’s ranks to kill this important industry is alive and well”.

Mr Truss said there was “no doubt” the live export critics would return to haunt cattle producers of northern Australia.

“One of the most frustrating things from the ALP Conference was the sheer bloody-minded ignorance of those opposing the live trade, many seriously suggesting live cattle could be replaced with chilled meat into live cattle markets,” he said.

“In Indonesian, for example, there are 240 million people and over 90 percent of households do not have refrigerators, meaning there is little demand for chilled boxed meat.

“Boxed meat into Indonesia is the premium end of the market and limited.

“They must buy fresh meat from local wet markets if families are to eat meat at all.

“Chilled meat comes at a higher price… they can’t afford it and they don’t want it.”

Mr Truss said experience showed when live export markets are halted – such as the ban on cattle to Egypt or sheep to Saudi Arabia – demand for boxed meat does not rise because live trade meets very specific needs.

“Again, in these markets we are often talking about rural villages where refrigeration simply does not exist,” he said.

“If these people are serious about animal welfare then banning the Australian trade is the last thing any thinking person would support.

“Banning Australia’s involvement undermines the very means of affecting the attitudinal and behavioural changes necessary to see sound animal welfare practices become the norm.”

Mr Truss said Australia remained the only country in the world actively working to improve animal care in markets.

He said Australia needed use our influence as a major supplier to insist on the highest quality animal welfare reform.

Abandoning what has been achieved to date, along with our premier place in the market, we also abandon our authority to demand better animal treatment, he said.

“Those demanding the industry be shut down are ignoring the realities of foreign marketplaces and the means by which change can be driven, while also damning businesses, families and entire communities across northern Australia in the process,” he said.

“It’s a proposition steeped in ignorance and, I suspect, those peddling it play on that fact.”

But Fremantle Labor MP Melissa Parke who raised the weekend’s ALP motions on the live export trade and animal welfare, said the argument that Australian protein was helping to feed poor Indonesian villagers who did not have electricity to power fridges and freezers and needed to buy fresh meat daily from wet markets, was a furphy.

She said most people buying Australian beef in Indonesia were from the middle and upper classes and the tourism businesses who are selling it back to Australians in hotels or restaurants.

“You are not talking about poor Indonesians missing out on their protein because they can’t get Aussie beef,” she said.

“I absolutely do think that’s a furphy.

“I think it’s for the benefit of Australian cattle producers to diversify their options.

“Last year Indonesia unilaterally reduced the weight limit for cattle to 350 kilograms, thereby stranding farmers with all this cattle with no market to go to.

“And Indonesia has declared it wants to be self sufficient in cattle by 2014 so an alternate plan has to be developed.

“We’ve seen it in the Middle East – consumer sentiment is changing and many more people now are going to the supermarket to buy frozen and chilled meat from Australia rather than buying it from the fresh markets.

“The international trend is towards the frozen and chilled meat industry and away from live exports.

“It’s just going to keep going in that direction and we need to prepare for that and get those processing facilities up and running.

“Hundreds of them have closed down over the last 20 to 30 years since the live export trade has been operating.

“If we are serious about wanting to value add in this country, if we are serious about local content being important then we have to value add here.

“We have to process here and that will create many more thousands of jobs than exist with the live export trade.”

“Those demanding the industry be shut down are ignoring the realities of foreign marketplaces and the means by which change can be driven, while also damning businesses, families and entire communities across northern Australia in the process,” he said.

“It’s a proposition steeped in ignorance and, I suspect, those peddling it play on that fact.”

But Fremantle Labor MP Melissa Parke who raised the weekend’s ALP motions on the live export trade and animal welfare, said the argument that Australian protein was helping to feed poor Indonesian villagers who did not have electricity to power fridges and freezers and needed to buy fresh meat daily from wet markets, was a furphy.

She said most people buying Australian beef in Indonesia were from the middle and upper classes and the tourism businesses who are selling it back to Australians in hotels or restaurants.

“You are not talking about poor Indonesians missing out on their protein because they can’t get Aussie beef,” she said.

“I absolutely do think that’s a furphy.

“I think it’s for the benefit of Australian cattle producers to diversify their options.

“Last year Indonesia unilaterally reduced the weight limit for cattle to 350 kilograms, thereby stranding farmers with all this cattle with no market to go to.

“And Indonesia has declared it wants to be self sufficient in cattle by 2014 so an alternate plan has to be developed.

“We’ve seen it in the Middle East – consumer sentiment is changing and many more people now are going to the supermarket to buy frozen and chilled meat from Australia rather than buying it from the fresh markets.

“The international trend is towards the frozen and chilled meat industry and away from live exports.

“It’s just going to keep going in that direction and we need to prepare for that and get those processing facilities up and running.

“Hundreds of them have closed down over the last 20 to 30 years since the live export trade has been operating.

“If we are serious about wanting to value add in this country, if we are serious about local content being important then we have to value add here.

“We have to process here and that will create many more thousands of jobs than exist with the live export trade.”

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Reprieve for exports, but Labor gunning for kill – National Rural News – Livestock – Cattle – Queensland Country Life.

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