Council withdraws ‘eat less beef’ advice to ratepayers

James Nason, 14/06/2011

A large South East Queensland council has removed a tip from its website encouraging people to eat less beef and lamb to slow climate change, after questions about the advice were raised by Beef Central.

In May Beef Central reported that the Logan City Council was advising its 200,000 residents to lower their red meat consumption to help the environment.

The council offered no information on its website to support the advice or to explain its reasons for posting it.

Meat and Livestock Australia’s community communications manager Samantha Jamieson contacted the council after the issue was raised by Beef Central.

Ms Jamieson supplied the council with research showing that Australian livestock producers had implemented a range of environmental management initiatives that had resulted in a 10.7% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions since 1990.

The council removed the advice from its website last Wednesday.

An article in the Albert and Logan Times last week reported that the council had also planned to include the tip in an information flyer on how ratepayers could reduce their carbon emissions until Councillors Sean and Hajnal Black objected.

Cr Black told the newspaper that the flyer was unacceptable because it aimed to damage the beef and lamb industries, and that the tip had generated adverse comments from cattle producers and industry people in the Logan council area.

“He said the only reason the tip had been removed from council material was because the beef industry and rural journalists had started contacting council and it was felt the story ‘would blow up in their face’”, the report said.

The information supplied to the Logan City Council by MLA included a report on the Queensland beef industry funded by the Queensland Government, which concluded that if all carbon sinks were taken into account, the Queensland beef industry would be close to carbon neutral.

According to the Australian Greenhouse Office Australia's livestock industry is the only Australian industry to have achieved a reduction in emissions since 1990.

Outside the Logan City Council itself, the next largest employer in the shire is meat processor, Teys Brothers.   


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