Thursday, August 6, 2015

HuntBlog Newsletter: Has Barnaby Left the Door Open for Grass Fed Cattle Structural Reform by Plebiscite?

Following years of agitation for Red Meat Industry organisational reform by:
• the Australian Beef Association (ABA),
• the Australian Meat Producers Group think tank (AMPG),
• the hugely attended cattle producer forums in Roma in 2004, Armidale and Paradise Lagoons in 2010 which Minister Joyce either attended or spoke at, and
• agitation from the cash strapped Cattle Council of Australia (CCA) for access to some of the grass fed cattle transaction levies to provide it with the necessary funding to enable it to carry out its functions under the current red meat industry organisational structure,

the Minister for Agriculture Barnaby Joyce at a meeting with cattle producers in Townsville in early November 2013 agreed to call for a Senate Inquiry into the current grass fed cattle levy funded structures and systems. Minister Joyce advised the Townsville cattle producer meeting that it was time that the decade long cattle industry debate over organisational reform was brought to a head one way or another. Minister Joyce counselled those present that they would have to accept the findings of the Senate Inquiry as binding whatever they happened to be and that if the Senate Inquiry findings went against the cattle producers calls for reform they would need to accept those findings as “the umpire’s verdict”.

Please click here to view the rest of the article.

HuntBlog Newsletter: Preserving MLA

The Federal Government’s 15 July 2015 initial response to the Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee report on grass fed cattle levies rejected implementation of that part of the Senate Committee’s recommendation which called for the formation of a grass fed cattle levy producer owned body that had the authority to receive and disperse all of the grass fed cattle transaction levies.

Please click here to view the rest of the article.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

HuntBlog newsletter: Use of levy funds by representative bodies

The Senate Inquiry Report into grass fed cattle levy funded structures and systems handed down last October produced seven interlocking recommendations aimed at enabling the grass fed cattle industry to meet its collective needs for the next decade or two.

The Federal Government Response to the Senate Inquiry seven interlocking recommendations published in Beef Central on 15 July 2015 adopted only one of the seven Senate inquiry recommendations in full and ruled out the key recommendation that the proposed new grass fed cattle producer body to replace the cash strapped Cattle Council of Australia (CCA) be given authority to manage all cattle transaction levies. 

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HuntBlog Newsletter: The need to strengthen Australian rural industry advocacy

16 October 2014

The recently published Senate Committee report into the industry structures and systems governing levies on grass fed cattle and the State Farmer Organisation based Australian Farm Institute (AFI) published in March 2014 has underlined the urgent need for Australian rural industries to review and reform their rural advocacy structures. 

Please click here to view the rest of the article.

Australian Government response to the Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee report: Inquiry on industry structures and systems governing levies on grass-fed cattle

Please click the link below to access the Federal Government's response to the Senate Inquiry on industry structures and systems governing grass-fed cattle levies:

Cattle producers present industry preferences for new grass-fed beef levy system

Beef producers want a new representative body, specifically for grass-fed beef farmers.
Beef industry excited by Cataby abattoir plans
18 February 2015
The industry has delivered its preferred model for research and development levy collection and spending to Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce.
The proposal includes the creation of a new representative body.
There would be direct membership for levy-paying graziers, with voting processes still to be determined.
The new body would include a 15-member policy council, overseen by a board that would include two skills-based representatives.
A president appointed by the board, chair and policy council would serve a two-year term.
In a statement, Cattle Council president Howard Smith said the proposal was the "united position" of the industry.
Mr Smith said it was developed "through consultation with all state farming organisations, the Northern Pastoral Group, the Australian Beef Association, the Australian Meat Producers Group, Concerned Cattleman and other red meat peak councils".
"We believe the recommended structure provides an opportunity for all Australian beef producers to be represented and have their voices heard, along with ensuring that the organisation is adequately funded," he said.
Mr Joyce asked producer representatives to come up with the proposal for future levy collection and spending, after a Senate rural affairs committee inquiry found that while grass-fed beef producers pay the vast bulk of research, development and marketing levies into Meat and Livestock Australia, only a fraction of that is actually spent on that sector.
Describing the "unified proposal" as "a historic and essential contribution", the Agriculture Minister said the meeting was the next step towards reform.
"It has been a long journey that many thought we would never take and many more thought we would never reach a destination," Mr Joyce said.
"Throughout this entire process, the Australian Government has been committed to listening to as many voices as possible within the sector and to ensure that any potential changes to industry structures enjoyed the overwhelming support of grass-fed levy payers across the country."
Mr Joyce said he would now consider the detail of the proposal, but warned producers that change "is not as simple as the flick of a pen".
He said he expected to make a formal response to the Senate Inquiry's seven recommendations, taking into account the industry's proposal, "in the coming months".