Industry lauds cattle ban lift
GYMPIE region stud cattle breeder Shane Bishop yesterday welcomed the news of a partial lifting of the Australian Government’s ban on live cattle exports to Indonesia, but he said it was still too early to pop the champagne corks.
“It’s good news, but I’ll need another 24 hours to see if Indonesia will accept our cattle again.”
Australia, he said, should not assume that it had all the say in arrangements with other countries.
“There are new export protocols and we have to get the Indonesian Government to accept it – and they are not happy at the moment,” he said.
Mr Bishop, who supplies cattle to Northern Territory and West Australian cattle growers, said the live cattle export ban had done serious damage to a major Australian industry, but he said he was happy that a recovery was now in sight.
“The damage has been done, but at least it’s turned the corner,” he said.
Mary Valley grazier Chris de Vere said he supported comments by Boulia Mayor Eric Britton, who said farmers were suffering a kind of political battle fatigue.
They were not speaking out more because they were tired of dealing not only with the elements and livestock and markets, but were also sick of having to defend their livelihoods against fellow Australians who seemed intent on driving them out of business.
Mr de Vere said Cr Britton had told him farmers were sick of working 365 days a year and on top of that having to be dictated to by “Green groups, animal liberationists and politicians who sit in their inner city offices and make decisions that will impact their whole lives without even trying to see the bigger picture”.
Mr Bishop said major pastoral firm, Elders, ran its own export operation and its own feedlots in Indonesia, but was not even allowed to export to itself under the recent ban.
Farm lobby group AgForce yesterday described the lifting of the ban as “a return to commonsense,” but said it would be some time before northern Australia’s cattle producers could really get back to business.
AgForce cattle president Grant Maudsley said the latest announcement was welcome news not only for AgForce but also for other industry groups, including the National Farmers’ Federation, Meat and Livestock Australia and the wider livestock industry.
Queensland Agriculture Minister Tim Mulherin yesterday also welcomed the announcement by Federal Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig.