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CATTLEMEN OF AUSTRALIA
IT IS TIME WE GOT SERIOUS!
Australia’s Beef Cattle Industries continue to bleed, however, when compared with the cattle slump of the early 1970’s we are not in a crisis. In my view, the Industry will not prosper while ever the current Red Meat Industry Structure of 1998-2010 is in place. A casual study of the Structure illustrates log jams, dead ends and opportunities for the smart opportunist. Meat and Livestock Australia has a number of excellent staff personnel; sadly they are outnumbered by lesser operators. Consider direct costs placed on Cattlemen by MLA, worse still consider the income forfeited by way of low cattle prices over the past 12 years.
The Structure seems to have a position for every man and his dog. How the thing is expected to support and encourage the Cattleman Beef Producer is lost.
All must recognise the backbone of the Industry is the Cattle Producer. This is where the major investment lies; without the Cattlemen there is no Industry. We must have a strong, open and accountable body to manage our product.
The current Structure is no less than a sham with a pretence of democracy. It is very far from being open and accountable.
If ever Cattlemen are to have a voice we can trust it must be accountable and democratic. As well, it must be stand-alone and not, as is currently, just one of the pack. Additionally, every registered member must have the right to elect their representatives.
I encourage every thinking Cattleman to get hold of a copy of the Red Meat Industry Structure. Please analyse this quagmire. I am sure most will be horrified at the number of stuff-ups you will find. (Copies available: ABA: 4691 2618 or PRA: 4921 3430.)
Having been a silent observer at the recent Cattlemen’s meetings at Armidale, Casino and Rockhampton, I have a very clear overview of our problems.
In very recent days I have studied the Final Report of the Senate Inquiry on this subject. The findings of the Inquiry were released in December 2002.
The contents of the Inquiry spell out solutions to our situation. Why the report was not implemented is unknown to me. However, I believe this fact is no less than a tragedy.
It is imperative that this Inquiry be revisited, upgraded and implemented. The flaws recognised in the 2002 Inquiry have survived from 1998 to 2010. How stupid are we? The 1998 model was flawed in 1998!
DON’T SIT BACK AND DO NOTHING—DO YOUR BIT.
John Purcell, “Yatton”, Marlborough, QLD 4705 Ph: 49389135 Mobile: 0419 772 068