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Ludwig disappoints farmers at beef crisis meeting

Virginia Tapp, Wednesday May 8, 2013 - 09:17 EST
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Three federal and state politicians - Joe Ludwig, John McVeigh and Barnaby Joyce - front the crowd at Richmond to discuss the future of the beef industry. - ABC

Graziers at yesterday's cattle crisis summit in north-west Queensland have voiced their disappointment over the swift exit by Federal Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig.

Mr Ludwig attended the Richmond meeting and spoke about the Federal Government's commitment to the live cattle export industry.

Grazier Camilla Rogers says while both state and federal agriculture ministers failed to commit to any motions put forward at the meeting, she wasn't happy that Mr Ludwig chose to leave the event without acknowledging the crowd.

"I think that we got some hearing from our state member John McVeigh. However, our federal minister Joe Ludwig was very disappointing, particularly when he just choose to get up and leave the room and not acknowledge us as a group in front of him," she said.

"Just to leave the forum was not politically polite to say the least."

Thirty resolutions were tabled ranging from improving trade relations with Indonesia to providing tax breaks for drought-hit producers.

The resolution with the most support from the floor was for the Federal Government to purchase 100,000 head of cattle from Northern Australia, at a farm gate floor price of $1.50 per kilogram, to reduce the risk of the Northern Australia beef industry collapsing and restore the live export trade.

Neither the state nor federal agriculture ministers were willing to commit to the resolution.

Despite the fact there was no outcomes at yesterday's 500 strong meeting, Camooweal grazier Charlie Hawkins says he's determined to get some changes through.

"We have to have hope and I do think after today if we get a couple of delegations to Canberra we will get something out of this meeting."

Other resolutions include:
- That the Summit calls for the establishment of a body to negotiate with the Indonesian Ambassador to further develop the live cattle market.
- That the Summit call on the Federal and State Governments to develop a method of emergency financial relief for exceptional circumstances assistance for government charges such as, rates, taxes and land rent.
- That the State Government reduce the registration on transport vehicles by at least 30 per cent and reintroduce rail and road subsidies of 30 per cent for all drought declared shires.
- That the Summit calls on Meat and Livestock Australia to suspend the $5 Transaction Levy on all drought declared shires and individually droughted properties.
- The Federal Government to reduce interest rates.
- The Federal Government and the Reserve Bank to put in place methods to compensate Australian industries and reduce the dollar.
- The Federal Member for Kennedy, Bob Katter MP to present to the next sitting of Parliament a Bill to bring into existence an "Australian Reconstruction and Development Bank" (ARDB) with the capacity to reconstruct debilitating financial arrangements in agriculture and to provide low-interest long term funds.
- The Federal Government to review the Taxation Zonal Allowance to attract and retain the rural workforce.
- The establishment of one or more strategically placed meatworks in addition to current abattoir initiatives.
- The Federal Government set up a Ministry of Food to ensure a fair standard of living for farmers while maintaining sustainable production systems and to provide a stable and safe food supply at affordable prices for Australian consumers.
- That the Summit authorises the Beef Crisis Steering Committee to make representation to the Federal and State Governments and other relevant parties in relation to the resolutions adopted at the Summit.


- ABC

© ABC 2013

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