The Federal Government is pouring six times as much cash into Beef Australia 2018 than the Queensland Labor Government – despite the fact that the state’s Agriculture Minister lives in Rockhampton.
Federal Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry and Federal Member for Flynn Ken O’Dowd have welcomed the state contribution of $500,000 cash (plus additional in-kind support) towards the international expo – but said it paled next to the Commonwealth’s cash contribution of $3 million.
“With Labor’s Bill Byrne reappointed as the state’s Agriculture Minister and living in Rockhampton - he should have worked harder to dig up more money for what is Australia’ biggest beef cattle expo,” the MPs said.
Both Ms Landry and Mr O’Dowd lobbied their own federal government hard to obtain increased Commonwealth funding for Beef Australia 2018 compared to 2015.
“Given that the state’s Agriculture Minister is based in Rockhampton and the event is big, not only for Rockhampton but for Queensland’s cattle industry, you would think Bill Byrne could dig a bit deeper,” they said.
“Bill Byrne recently called the Federal Government’s promise of $7 million to kick start a hospital car park in Rockhampton as ‘paltry’. What can one make of his $500,000 cash contribution (and some in-kind support) to Australia’s most important beef expo? Once again, the Turnbull-Joyce Government has out delivered state Labor in Rockhampton with $3 million cash for Beef Australia 2018.
“Central Queensland is the epicentre of Australia’s beef industry and Beef Australia does such a great job promoting that point,” the MPs said.
“We are proud of the Federal Coalition’s record both with the Beef Australia expo and the broader industry.
“Cattle prices are currently at record highs, which in no small way, is due to the increased export trade made possible by Commonwealth Government’s Free Trade Agreements with Japan, Korea, Singapore and China and the resumption of the live cattle export trade with Indonesia,” they said.