Remember the knee-jerk government action on live cattle exports?
It just gets better:
High dollar, carbon tax to hit cattlemen
Australian beef producers risk becoming globally uncompetitive, if they are not already, a forum in Darwin has heard.
The Northern Territory Cattlemen’s Association (NTCA) 2012 annual general meeting and beef forum was told costs for beef producers were drifting higher and were not sustainable.
NTCA president Rohan Sullivan told about 300 cattle producers at the meeting that the cost of slaughtering cattle in southern Australia was about $340 per head, compared to just $150 per head in the United States, and $30 per head in Indonesia.
Mr Sullivan said the introduction of the carbon tax would likely add another $20 to that figure for Australian cattle farmers, and also add to export transport costs.
He said stringent food safety requirements, a skills shortage, high labour costs and the strong Australian dollar were also making beef producers less competitive than those overseas.
“We need something else, because the current situation is not sustainable,” Mr Sullivan told the meeting.
“Australia risks becoming globally uncompetitive, if it isn’t already,” he said.
Mr Sullivan said General Motors was recently promised more than $200 million over 10 years by governments to keep going in Australia, while Indonesia will be given $20 million to develop its cattle industry.
Australian cattle producers should also get assistance, he said.
“A slip lane on the Stuart Highway and supporting our infrastructure don’t seem too big an ask,” Mr Sullivan said.
He said the issue of wild dogs was also becoming a big issue for producers.
“There was a report the other day from a member of the academia to reintroduce dingoes into some areas to control foxes, cats and that are overrun with herbivores – I wonder if that includes sheep and cows?” he said.
During the past year Northern Territory cattle producers have also had to face challenges from the one-month live export ban on the sale of cattle to Indonesia, and bushfires which tore through much of Central Australia, Mr Sullivan said.
But that’s ok, right?
Who needs a healthy, thriving, locally-produced food industry?
Let’s just ban the building of dams, wipe out the cattle industry, sell off prime agricultural land for mining … and our best agri-businesses to the Americans and the Chinese.
After all, I have no doubt it will be no problem whatsoever when we Try Asking 1.3 Billion Stomachs Armed With Nukes To Give Our Food Back.