Last Saturday more than 1,200 beef producers voted overwhelmingly to support the Nationals Liberal Coalition effort to stop Rudd Labor’s relaxation of Australia’s strict quarantine rules that allow ‘mad cow’ beef imports from today.
The loud and clear message from producers to industry leaders was ‘say no to Rudd Labor on mad cow imports’.
Forum attendees voted overwhelmingly for Rudd Labor to reverse its position on ‘mad cow’ imports and told industry leaders to support the Coalition’s Private Members Bill in the interests of the Australian beef sector.
Beef producers are not happy. They are telling me they’re unhappy with RMAC and the Cattle Council, saying industry leaders have lost touch with the farmers they claim to represent.
The Red Meat Advisory Council (RMAC) and its member organisations, including the Australian Meat Industry Council, and the Cattle Council of Australia have been strong supporters of Rudd Labor’s ‘mad cow’ import plans saying member support for the change justified their stand.
The Armidale declarations of beef producers tell a different story.
On March 9 the Coalition will introduce into the Senate a Private Members Bill to demand beef imports to Australia are subject to the same high standards as Australian beef intended for our domestic and export markets.
The Coalition will demand equivalency and ensure beef imports go through a full Import Risk Assessment.
Under the Coalition Bill any country that has had a ‘mad cow’ outbreak must have the equivalent of our NLIS before they can import beef into Australia.
Rudd Labor might be happy to let ‘mad cow’ beef into Australia, but the Nationals in Coalition will not!
Why should we let anyone relax Australia’s quarantine rules to allow beef in from countries which have lower standards than Australian producers?
It is strange that anyone would want to import any beef into Australia, with the vast herds that are here. If it is cheaper, it must be rubbish. I remember getting a tin of Argentinian meat and it was rank, not bad or rotten. We should import some sense for certain politicians and business bosses.. dcc..
Come on Janet,how about some valid reason for not supporting the colalition,I for one I am sick of hearing
that we must have free trade and all the ''BULL"re level playing field etc.Why do we need to import the
inferior beef the Yanks dont want, this would also probably result in Australian producers loosing other
markets that rely on our CLEAN and GREEN image.eg Japan.
I do not support the Coalition stand on this issue and, as a beef producer, I believe that Coalition Senators are being opportunistic and trying to score score points on the Rudd government at the expense of the good name of the Australian beef industry.
Scaring consumers about disease in the press and on radio is an obscenity on the part of the Coalition.
I would rather not vote than vote for the Coalition in the upcoming election. I have always voted for the Coalition but, no more.
I was at the meeting in Armidale and thought it was farcical and, as a chairman, Alan Jones makes an average radio announcer. He was biased, rude and ill informed.
I'm grappling trying to understand this... So Jim you are saying that your preference is for Australia to import beef from where ever it likes around the world, and in addition to that, it shouldn't have to meet the same standards that Australian meat has to.
So then in protest against this policy that you don't like, you would vote for someone else? Surely not the Labor government that is wanting to bring in the ETS and all manner of other oppressive taxations and reporting requirements that will virtually stamp out small business?