THE Federal Minister for Agriculture has blamed the interim independent regulator for extending the moratorium on live beef and sheep exports to the Middle East.
The moratorium was installed to cover the northern summer, which concludes on August 31 and thereby allowing shipments to recommence to the Red Sea and Persian Gulf from September 1. But the restart has been deferred until September 22.
"The deferment was the decision of the Independent Regulator from the Department of Agriculture," Mr McKenzie said.
"I have made it clear I support a sustainable, profitable and safe live export industry for both sheep and cattle.
"Everything I do in my role as minister will be working towards that end, which is why in the first three weeks I met with exporters and cattleman in the Northern Territory (and) viewed a ship being loaded."
Ms McKenzie said she was looking forward to using robust science to develop a framework ensuring good animal welfare and to reactivate the live export trade.
"There are two things that will help us get there - one is using robust science," she said.
"We have already made changes around stocking densities. We had mortality rates down around 0.1 per cent before the moratorium.
"We also need to use technology to assist us to make the voyage as safe and as comfortable as possible for the animal without carte blanche banning the trade."
Ms McKenzie has also taken a swipe at the Queensland government over its protectionist plans for the Great Barrier Reef as well as its policy for vegetation management on farmland.
Ms McKenzie came out swinging when quizzed on both issues, accusing the Palaszczuk regime of riding roughshod over producers to appease green voters.
"These are state matters but my understanding is that producers entered into arrangements on a way of mapping many years ago and that has been superceded by this particular program and that has them rightly concerned," she said.
Ms McKenzie also called on the state to build water infrastructure, including Rookwood Weir.
"Building the Rookwood Weir is an opportunity to invest in water infrastructure. We have been standing there with the money on the table for too long.
"You would think the Palaszczuk government would heed the lessons of the federal election that Queenslanders want governments of action, they want governments that support primary production and our mining industries.
"I would be pleading with the Palaszczuk government to work with us. Put the money on the table and let's just get the thing built so that Rockhampton and the broader region can reap the benefits for decades to come."