In a statement released this morning the Cattle Council of Australia says it will work with the Minister to investigate the recommendations of the Senate Inquiry into grassfed beef levies and structures, but says it is strongly opposed to any beef representative group being established by legislation.
The CCA statement follows:
As the peak industry body for all grassfed beef producers Cattle Council will now engage directly with Minister Joyce and the Government to investigate the Senate report recommendations and their implications for all beef producers.
Cattle Council sees this report as an opportunity to make important improvements for Australian beef producers but is disappointed that the Senate has not adopted more of the Cattle Council recommendations directly, especially the recommendation to improve flexibility when apportioning the levy between Service Providers.
Whilst Cattle Council will work with the Minister to investigate Recommendation one, Cattle Council is strongly opposed to any beef representative group being established by legislation.
“Any representative Group must be completely autonomous. Industry must always be left to manage its own affairs” said Cattle Council president, Andrew Ogilvie.
Cattle Council does not feel that RMAC should be dissolved (Recommendation five), however it does believe this recommendation reflects concerns raised about the operational efficiency of RMAC and the need to improve its outputs.
Cattle Council views Recommendation two as the key to implementing long term industry reform. Cattle Council has called for Recommendation two in the past but it was not cost effective; technology now makes it plausible.
“This system could also be used to better consult with industry, including collecting their views on these recommendations” said Cattle Council president, Andrew Ogilvie.
Recommendations three and four need greater detail from the Minister on how they would work and the cost they would impose on industry.
“Before they can be supported, Cattle Council will ensure that these recommendations do not impose unnecessary costs and that they deliver significant benefits to the levy payer” said Cattle Council president, Andrew Ogilvie.
Recommendation six needs to be carefully considered. The MDC provides a unique mechanism to attract private investment which increases the amount of R&D undertaken at a minimal cost to levy payers. The MDC leveraged $13m of private investment last year and would disadvantage producers if lost.
Cattle Council has already requested that MLA undertake the research pertaining to Recommendation seven. To date the Terms of Reference have been agreed to and a producer panel is reviewing companies that have tendered for the project.
“Changes as significant as the ones proposed in this report will need to be discussed at length to ensure all of the ramifications are fully understood before being put to the vote of all levy payers” said Mr Ogilvie.
Cattle Council will publish the seven recommendations on its website for all Cattle Council direct members to comment on and provide feedback to Cattle Council.
Source: Cattle Council of Australia