Red meat industry MoU comes under review

Jon Condon, 20/09/2018

THE document that governs the Australian red meat industry will be reviewed, nearly twenty years after it was created.

The Red Meat Advisory Council has announced that the Red Meat Memorandum of Understanding  will undergo a comprehensive review led by consultant and businessman, Jim Varghese.

The review will look at the industry’s MOU, and examine whether it properly represents all sectors of the industry and is fit for the future.

RMAC chairman Don Mackay said the Red Meat MOU had been a foundation document for the red meat and livestock industry over the past two decades and the review was about evaluating, enhancing and elaborating on the successes the industry had had under the document.

The review will be undertaken by a taskforce chaired by Mr Varghese, who has a 30-year track record of delivering results as both a CEO and as head of government agencies in Queensland and Victoria. A renowned policy thinker and reviewer who has held various private and public service roles including director-general roles in Main Roads, the Department of Education, Employment and Training and the Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries at state level, he currently chairs of the Australia India Business Council.

“It is my expectation that this Review will strategically position the industry for future challenges and opportunities,” Mr Varghese said. “I look forward to working with all the key stakeholders to produce a revised MOU that will ensure the sustainability and prosperity of Australian red meat and livestock businesses,” he said.

Mr Mackay said expressions of interest for the remaining five Taskforce positions will close on 3 October, with Taskforce members being selected by RMAC as the project coordinator.

“We are looking for high quality candidates from a range of disciplines and backgrounds for the taskforce,” he said. “We want a breadth of experience across policy making, governance, advocacy and out-of-the-box thinkers to make this review as comprehensive and effective as possible.”

The review will assess the effectiveness of the current Red Meat MOU arrangements by consulting with signatories, key industry and community stakeholders and government and will report back to RMAC with recommendations by the end of March, 2019.

The full Terms of Reference and further information are available here.

Agriculture minister David Littleproud welcomed RMAC’s independent review of the rules of engagement in the red meat industry.

“Our red meat industry is big business and we need to make sure it’s ready for new opportunities and challenges,” he said.

“The MOU put in place 20 years ago carves out the funding and service delivery arrangements between peak councils, RDCs and the Commonwealth. But what was put in place two decades ago might not be fit for today.”

“The review is also in line with the recommendations of the Senate Inquiry into the effect of market consolidation on the red meat processing sector. It is an important opportunity to set the direction of the sector,” Mr Littleproud said.

“I thank RMAC for showing the leadership to have this work done.”


Sources: RMAC, DPIF


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