Council votes on beef imports

MAD cow disease and the importation of beef will be on the agenda at the Kyogle Council meeting this afternoon with councillor Linsday Passfield expected to put forward a notice of motion against the trade deal.

With the Kyogle area a major producer of beef in the Northern Rivers, Mr Passfield’s motion, if supported, will then be forwarded to Federal Minister for Trade and Agriculture, Tony Burke.

Mr Burke effectively put a two-year moratorium on lifting import restrictions earlier this month when he succumbed to pressure from farmers and announced the Government would conduct a full risk analysis.

Kyogle councillor Ernie Bennett said he would support the motion as the majority of farmers he had spoken to were against the importation of beef.

This is in contrast to Federal Member for Page Janelle Saffin, who told The Northern Star recently that there was strong, if quiet, support for the importation of beef.

Mr Bennett said he expected the motion to be passed by the council.

“At this point, the few people I’ve spoken to are not convinced it’s the right thing,” he said.

“I do understand there is a trade issue but in my mind we have to be on a level playing field.”

Mr Bennett also said that farmers overseas were often subsidised by their government, but here, they were not.



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