Further progress on effective industry representation in the red meat sector has been welcomed by Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Barnaby Joyce.
Minister Joyce said the decision by the red meat industry to contract a specialist to look at new and innovative revenue streams, cost and business structures for red meat peak industry councils was a good one, and more specifically another step toward reforms flagged last year in the government’s response to the Senate Inquiry into systems and structures governing the grass-fed levy.
“Sustainable structures and revenue streams are vital to ensure that peak councils can provide strong representation for the red meat sector. This project will be particularly helpful in assisting the grass-fed sector to reform the Cattle Council into the directly elected model proposed to the government last year,” Minister Joyce said.
“When I released the government’s response to the Senate Inquiry into the levy system for grass-fed cattle, I made it clear that while the government was willing to work with industry on different models, it was important for industry to consider its long-term options and drive reform from within.
“The government will continue to ensure that producers—levy payers—have a strong voice in 2016 through the continued implementation of the government response to the grass fed levy inquiry and additionally in our response to the broader levies inquiry due in the coming months.
“This, along with the recent election of an additional grass-fed cattle member on Meat & Livestock Australia’s board selection committee and the current independent performance review, will help ensure there’s more transparency in spending and that producers get value for money and pragmatic outcomes from their research and development corporation that can make a real difference both on-farm and in the marketplace.
“The government will continue helping industry with the right policy settings, prioritising work on trade deals, maintaining a strong biosecurity system and providing support where it’s needed in tough times.
“We’ll also continue matching industry spending on research and development, ensuring that producers have the tools they need to drive growth, productivity and profitability in their industry.”