Four cattle producer-representative organisations signed an agreement at the NTCA conference in Darwin on Friday, which should add horsepower to efforts to coordinate the future development of the Northern Australian beef industry.
The Memorandum of Understanding was signed in Darwin by the Cattle Council of Australia, AgForce Queensland, the Northern Territory Cattlemen’s Association and Pastoralists and Graziers Association of Western Australia.
Central to “Beef Plan North” is a desire to ensure trade opportunities are harnessed.
“The plan is about leveraging the key initiatives already being developed across the north to maximise the impact for the beef industry,” Cattle Council president Howard Smith said.
“The plan will complement the Meat Industry Strategic Plan (MISP2020) and will be underpinned by existing government and industry research to ensure investment in the North can have the biggest effect whilst protecting the integrity and biosecurity of the region.”
Federal Minister for Northern Australia, Senator Matt Canavan, and Northern Territory Primary Industries and Resources Minister, Ken Vowles were also signatories to the MOU.
NTCA chief executive Tracey Hayes said the push for Beef Plan North, an overarching strategy for one of northern Australia’s key industries, was aimed at meeting the great opportunities and challenges ahead.
“We want to position ourselves to drive a new era of development, growth and innovation for all of Australia. That’s a vast area,” said Ms Hayes.
“It’s crucial that we make a collaborative effort for the mutual benefit of us all.”
The northern beef industry contributes more than $2.8 billion a year directly to the Australian economy and make up 57pc of the regions total agricultural production.
The area holds more than 11.7 million head of cattle, making up over 45pc of the national herd.