06 Apr Live export industry on its last legs due to bloated bureaucracy
Kennedy MP Bob Katter is warning that Australia’s live export industry is on its last legs due to an exorbitant number of bureaucrats working for the Department of Agriculture (in the live export space), which the Federal Government is now forcing live exporters to pay for from July 2021.
The annual cost of departmental employees has shot to a whopping $15 million a year since the Federal Government started imposing new measures on the industry three years ago.
There were 180 Department of Agriculture staff regulating 243 live export shipments last calendar year. That is a staggering four staff for every five shipments.2 There are only 19 live exporters in the industry.
Mr Katter understands that the cost-recovery impost will increase the price of exporting cattle by 400%, or $40 to $50 per head of cattle. It has triggered Australia’s key export markets, including Indonesia and Vietnam, to begin looking at alternate markets in Mexico and Brazil.
Mr Katter says the live export industry should not be charged for the cost of the bloated number of Department of Agriculture staff.
“Scott Morrison must get onto the Department of Agriculture and end this red-tape madness immediately,” Mr Katter said.
“The last time we lost the live export industry in 2012, it cut the price of cattle clean in half. The current spike in the cattle market will not be maintained and cattleman will then be rendered non-viable and our meatworks jobs will be placed in jeopardy.
“A combination of the “gangreens” and the Lily-pad Lefties have managed to reduce half of Queensland to a pig sty, fire-starter and weed nurseries (called national parks). We will have no industries left by the time they are done.”
Katter’s Australian Party Leader, and State Member for Traeger, Robbie Katter said the notion that industry had to pay in full for unrestrained, ideologically driven regulations was absurd and likely unique to the Australian content.
He said the Federal Government was actively pricing out Australian beef producers from being able to participate in global markets, which was contrary to national interests. “You can’t keep mindlessly punishing these industries – like mining and agriculture – with constant regulatory burdens, particularly when they have just over the last 12 months demonstrated how vital they really are to the security of the Australian economy,” he said.
“There will be significant consequences, as people in agriculture are sick of being the whipping boy of extreme ideologies. “If the Federal Government is so intent on pandering to these extremists by adding layer upon layer of regulation, that’s fine but don’t then send the exporters and producers the bill.
“The arrogance being displayed here is breathtaking.”