Gympie in live export ban woes

ALL Australians, including thousands in the Gympie Region, are under “catastrophic” threat from an RSPCA-backed campaign against live animal exports, councillors have been told.

Cr Ian Petersen raised the issue and received immediate support from Mayor Ron Dyne, deputy Tony Perrett and Crs Larry Friske, Graham Engeman and Julie Walker.

Describing the issue as “a matter of grave importance,” Cr Petersen told Wednesday’s council meeting “trickle down effects” would be “horrendous.”

Cr Walker used the word “catastrophic.”

Cr Perrett said agriculture, much of it beef based, was “a key driver of the regional economy. “We have six major feedlots, with about 25,000 head.

“These purchase cattle, hay, grain and other products and employ people.

“We have two very successful saleyards.

“The number of people running cattle as a major or side income would run to thousands. We have already seen a 60c a kilo drop in cattle prices,” he said.

Cr Petersen said he was “horrified” at RSPCA support for a ban. “Most of these cattle are from northern Australia, but it would have a massive impact (here). We’ve got a lot of cattle producers in the Gympie Region who would be selling breeding animals to northern graziers.”

Cr Dyne said he had “significant concerns about impact on the regional, state and national economy.”

Cr Walker said she could see where animal welfare advocates were coming from, “but the flow-on effects could be catastrophic.”

Crs Engeman and Friske accused Agriculture Minister Mike Ludwig of failing in his responsibility to promote agriculture.

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