A tsunami of senate inquiries has forced the reporting date for the current probe into the red meat processing sector to be pushed back until next year.
The inquiry is currently taking public submissions, with 34 published on the site as of today.
The dates and locations of three public hearings to be held next month have also now been confirmed. Hearings will be held in Roma on August 4, Canberra on August 27 and Albury Wodonga on September 2.
However the reporting date has been moved back by seven months from the initially planned date of August 12, 2015 to the last sitting day in March 2016.
Beef Central understands that the extension has been granted in order to give Senators adequate time to work through a mountain of inquiries currently before them.
In addition to the inquiry into the effect of market consolidation on the red meat processing sector, the Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee has seven other inquiries currently on the go. They are:
- Industry structures and systems governing the imposition of and disbursement of marketing and research and development (R&D) levies in the agricultural sector – reporting date 30 June 2015;
- Airport and aviation security, reporting date 12 August 2015;
- Aspects of road safety in Australia, reporting date 9 September 2015;
- Australian grape and wine industry, reporting date 11 November 2015;
- Future role and contribution of regional capitals to Australia, reporting date 1 December 2015;
- Increasing use of so-called Flag of Convenience shipping in Australia, submissions close 7 August 2015;
The committee has conducted and completed 12 inquiries since March last year.
Cattle Council calls for producer input into inquiry
Meanwhile, the Cattle Council of Australia is calling on producers to share their experiences to assist with the council’s submission to the red meat processing inquiry.
“As the peak organisation for grassfed producers it is our job to ensure Senators have as much information available as possible so that they can make informed recommendations,” CRO Jed Matz said.
“Cattle Council has received an extension on its submission until 31 July to ensure its submission is as comprehensive as possible.
“We are conscious that many producers have been reluctant to speak out about unfair behaviour for fear of jeopardising commercial relationships.
“Producers who wish to share instances where they believe they have been dealt with unfairly or illegally should take advantage of the facility available on the Cattle Council website.
The information will be used as anonymous anecdotal evidence to strengthen our submission.”
As part of the Senate Inquiry process, Cattle Council says it is also investigating areas for reform to strengthen protection for producers as well as ensuring producers are aware of their legal rights.
For more information on the CCA submission process click on this link: http://www.cattlecouncil.com.au/form/effect-of-market-consolidation-on-the-red-meat-processing-sector