A MOTION to phase out all live export from Queensland by 2030 would have dire consequences for the North’s cattle industry, producers warn.
Members of Queensland’s Labor Party are calling for the Federal Government to phase out live export after they voted to transition away from the trade at their State conference on Sunday.
But the State Government is backing away from their members’ bid, saying they supported the industry.
The discussion sent alarm bells ringing in the North, with producers who suffered through the 2011 live export ban fearing a repeat.
Mount Isa district cattleman Ron Croft, from West Leichhardt Station saw his income halve in the wake of the 2011 ban.
Coupled with drought, Mr Croft had to shoot 1000 head of cattle that would otherwise have been sold to the export market.
“We could have sold those cattle if the communist sympathizers didn't shut the market down,” Mr Croft said.
“It’s ridiculous and cruel to the economy and business and it’s just not on.
“They’ve got an agenda and they don’t want cattle in Australia.”
LNP Agriculture spokesman Tony Perrett said the Labor party needed to clarify their position on live exports.
“I’m very concerned that Labor’s Agriculture Minister is listening to his party’s left faction, rather than Queensland farmers,” Mr Perrett said.
“The LNP supports actions to sustain a livestock export trade in Queensland but expects exporters to continue to work hard at meeting their animal welfare responsibilities.
“Any ban on the whole industry would unfairly punish those exporters and farmers who have done no wrong – and in turn lead to a repeat of the devastation seen in 2011.”
A Queensland Government spokesman said the future direction of the live animal export industry was a matter for the Federal Government.
“The Queensland Government has no plans to implement or support a ban on live exports,” he said.
Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said a live export ban would have dire implications for the Australian economy.
“We have just signed a free trade agreement with Indonesia where we will have 500,000 male steers going over, taking it up to 750,000 over the next five years. If you ban live exports of animals, it will cost the Australian economy $300 million a year and 10,000 jobs.”