Producers, activists, meatworkers weigh in on live trade
LOCAL cattle producers, animal rights activists and now meatworkers have all weighed in on the debate regarding preliminary plans for a live trade export market to Indonesia from the Port of Yamba.
While meat workers union secretary Grant Courtney said 900 Casino meatworkers would forge an "unholy alliance" with animal welfare activists to stop the controversial trade, the Federal Government has other plans.
In March, the Federal Government put its support behind a development at Port Alma, between Gladstone and Rockhampton, to facilitate live trade to Indonesia.
Outspoken Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce said the beef industry needed the competition.
Grafton beef producer and butcher Geoff Jones said increased international trade would support rather than compete with his local Holiday Coast Meat & Smallgoods business.
"Any business needs to spread the risk," he said.
While beef producer talks are gathering momentum, the Indonesian businessman behind the deal, Welly Salim, is yet to obtain a live trade permit. It may prove difficult.
Indonesia issued just 100,000 permits for the first three months of the year, which proved easy to fill for Australia's live cattle trade.
Currently, Indonesia releases live cattle permits quarterly, ranging from 100,000 in the first quarter of this year to 250,000 in the most recent allocation.
There are calls from Australian Livestock Exporters Council to introduce an annual import permit quota from Indonesia.
72% say no to live exports
NORTHERN Star readers have expressed strong opposition to a local live cattle trade in a web poll.
We posted a poll on our website after breaking news on Wednesday about Australia-Indonesia Business Council executive member Welly Salim's plans for a live trade plans from the Port of Yamba.
The poll asked: "Do you want a live export trade between the Northern Rivers and Indonesia?"
As of 5pm yesterday, the results were:
I don't know: 2%
I don't care: 0%