Australia’s policy leadership and advisory group for Australia’s 82,500 red meat businesses, the Red Meat Advisory Council (RMAC), has welcomed the new look Morrison ministry and the appointment of Nationals Senator for Victoria the Hon Bridget McKenzie as Minister for Agriculture.

Independent Chair of RMAC, Mr Don Mackay, said that the new Cabinet and outer Ministry is a commitment to experience, stability and the vital role of food production.

“We congratulate Senator Bridget McKenzie on her appointment as Minister for Agriculture; and look forward to working with her to advance the interests of Australia’s 82,500 butchers, manufacturers, livestock exporters, feedlotters and beef, sheepmeat and goatmeat producers that support 438,000 jobs nationwide and $15 billion in export earnings back to Australia’s economy.”

“Minister McKenzie has long been a passionate advocate for our food producers, Australia’s regions, public health, active living and nutrition; and her professionalism and competency in dealing with our industry and our issues is warmly welcomed.”

“Our priorities are to improve the cost to operate and affordability for red meat businesses, ensure our industry is recognised for our sustainability credentials through the Australian Beef Sustainability Framework, work with government to improve the welfare of livestock and continue to pioneer two way trade and investment for our sector through securing key trade agreements such as the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement.”

Mr Mackay also congratulated other key Ministers that are fundamental to a prosperous red meat industry.

“The reality is that in order for our industry to maintain our current share of global food exports,* we will need $109 billion in investment by 2025. This will require a whole-of-government outlook and policy agenda simply to maintain the status quo and our competitive advantage.”

“We welcome Minister Birmingham back to the critical role of Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment which is so important for our 70 per cent export-oriented trade, Minister for Energy and Climate Emissions Angus Taylor, Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley, Minister for Innovation, Science and Industry Karen Andrews and Deputy Prime Minister the Hon Michael McCormack in the critical supply chain portfolio of Transport, Infrastructure and Regional Development.”

“We must ensure that Australia red meat gets the recognition and support it needs by the Federal Government from on farm, to feedlot, livestock export depots, in processing facilities and in our retail and food service centres and will be seeking to work closely with Minister McKenzie and the broader Cabinet on this.”

Mr Mackay thanked outgoing Ministers, particularly the contribution of Member for Maranoa and former Minister for Agriculture the Hon David Littleproud.

“We thank Minister Littleproud for his collaboration in his time in the Agriculture and Water Resources portfolio. We are pleased his service to Australia’s regions will continue with his new portfolios which includes Water Resources, Drought and Rural Finance.”

ENDS

*ANZ, 2016, Australian Agriculture – Funding our Future