15th September 2017
The news this week has been dominated by the release of the report into the Senate Inquiry into processor consolidation.
One of the recommendations is for a new grassfed cattle representative body.
In February 2015 beef industry representatives including Cattle Council of Australia (several PRA members were among the non-cattle council members) came together and came up with a structure for an entirely democratically elected representative body. Since then the work of that Implementation Committee has stalled, both through lack of funding and a seeming change of heart by CCA. The committee recently came in for quite a lot of criticism from Senator O’Sullivan.
However, now the Senators have gone out on a limb and come out strongly in favour of a new Cattle Industry peak council and for the Implementation Committee to be funded to finish its work.
As with the seven recommendations made by the Grassfed Levies Inquiry, whose recommendations were mostly not supported by CCA, this recommendation for a newly structured peak cattle body and other recommendations made by the Inquiry will die on the vine if there is not a body of support from ordinary family cattle producers.
This is a proposal that is well worth informed exposure and debate and I ask all members to get involved.
The full report can be found at http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Rural_and_Regional_Affairs_and_Transport/RedMeat45/Report
The section on industry bodies can be found in Chapter 5.
A video featuring Senator O’Sullivan on the subject can be found here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2M3EcnJk4I&feature=youtu.be
In the interim report of the committee was a recommendation that:-
6.26 The committee recommends that the Australian Government introduce legislation to prohibit concerted practices as soon as practicable.
“Concerted Practices” if legislated in the Australian Competition and Consumer Act would have allowed the ACCC to have a different standard by which to show collusion in cases such as the Barnawartha Saleyards Incident. As far as we can see no serious discussion of this recommendation has occurred in any industry body.
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