Shadow agriculture minister Deb Frecklington and new Agriculture Minister Bill Byrne disagree on the live export of cattle from Port Alma.
Shadow agriculture minister Deb Frecklington and new Agriculture Minister Bill Byrne disagree on the live export of cattle from Port Alma. Contributed

Beef brews over live export support

LIVE cattle trade exports have been the topic of a political stoush between the new Agriculture Minister and his shadow counterpart.

Shadow agriculture minister Deb Frecklington issued a scathing statement earlier this week against Agriculture Minister Bill Byrne over his comments about the live cattle trade industry.

Mr Byrne said he did not support the establishment of live cattle export via Port Alma, which is in his electorate, because of evidence presented to him from meat processors in Rockhampton.

But he said he supported live cattle exports under appropriate circumstances.

He said up to 2400 jobs in his electorate were dependent on the meat processing sector and he could not support any proposal that would put these in jeopardy.

But Ms Frecklington disagreed that live cattle trade threatened the viability of the region's meat processors.

"This is not the case, with live trade being an important and complementary industry for our state's cattle producers," she said.

"Live cattle trade provides choice for producers to market their cattle."

AgForce cattle president Bim Struss said the market made an ongoing contribution to rural and regional Queensland.

"Live export is not a competitor to domestic processing but rather plays a complementary role to the processing sector and acts as an important market alternative for suitable stock," Mr Struss said.

"Basic economics tells us a competitive market drives price by, quite simply, increasing the number of potential customers for our product.

"Queensland is one of the largest producers of beef in the world and it is not an accurate assumption product being sold through the live export market can be absorbed by local processors."

- APN NEWSDESK


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