PEAK beef groups have welcomed the appointment of David Littleproud MP as the new Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources and expressed hope for a “new direction” for the development of agricultural policy.
President of the Cattle Council of Australia (CCA) Howard Smith said his organisation was looking forward to building a strong working relationship with the new Minister to represent grass fed beef producers at the federal level.
CCA also acknowledged the contribution made by the outgoing Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, the Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce and congratulate him on his new role as Minister for Infrastructure and Transport.
Mr Smith acknowledges the ongoing support from Senator Anne Ruston as the Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, and congratulates Senator Bridget McKenzie, Minister for Sport, Rural Health and Regional Communications and Dr John McVeigh MP, Minister for Regional Development, Territories and Local Government on their new appointments.
“I hope these appointments and the new government represents a new direction for the development of agricultural policy in Australia and greater collaboration between industry and government” said Mr Smith.
The Australian Meat Industry Council (AMIC), representing thousands of businesses in the retail, smallgoods, red meat processing and export sector, also welcomed the new ag minister.
AMIC chief executive officer Patrick Hutchinson says the organisation’s members are keen to work closely with the new minister on a range of important issues, including improved market access and reducing red tape for red meat processors.
“We’ve enjoyed a strong working relationship with Mr Littleproud’s predecessor Barnaby Joyce, and we appreciate his contribution to our sector and agriculture in general over the past few years. He hands over the reins at a positive time in the history of Australian agriculture,” Mr Hutchinson says.
“We’ll continue to work closely with Mr Joyce in his new portfolio, Infrastructure and Transport, especially as the new inland rail project takes shape and in finding supply chain efficiencies.”
AMIC would also like to acknowledge the positive working relationship developed with the outgoing Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Darren Chester, and Assistant Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Keith Pitt, and thank them both for their efforts in support of the red meat industry.
Mr Hutchinson says AMIC is advocating on a number of fronts for its members and the wider sector.
“We’re looking forward to meeting Mr Littleproud and working closely with him to progress a range of issues which are crucial to this sector, a major employer in Australia and a significant contributor to the national economy.
“As we head in to 2018 there is a lot of important work to be done to ensure that all parts of the agribusiness value chain have the best opportunity to maximise existing markets, reach into new markets and continue to build a thriving and sustainable industry.”
Mr Hutchinson says Mr Littleproud’s agribusiness background should serve him well in his first ministerial portfolio.
“This is a complex and vitally important portfolio and we congratulate Mr Littleproud on his appointment,” he said.
“We anticipate a positive and collaborative relationship, focused on great outcomes for the whole agribusiness sector.”