Australia’s $65-billion-dollar red meat business sector says a new mega department should bring a new approach to agri-food policy from the Morrison-McCormack government.

The Red Meat Advisory Council (RMAC) today outlined an early plan for the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DEWA).

RMAC said key first “off the blocks” policy initiatives should include:

  • An industry-government working group with the relevant government emissions, environment and agriculture experts to develop a joint policy framework for Australian red meat’s Carbon Neutral 2030 aspiration
  • A project specifically examining eco-services and natural capital solutions for Australia’s primary producers as outlined in Red Meat 2030 and by Climate Proofing Australia
  • A whole-of-government Roundtable for key Secretaries responsible for agri-food policy and services including Foreign Affairs and Trade; Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications; Industry, Science, Energy and Resources and DEWA to develop a strategic policy agenda for pre-and-post farm gate Australian food industries to contribute to the Prime Minister’s $100 billion agenda

Independent Chair of RMAC, Mr Don Mackay, said that “We hope a new mega-department for agri-food is focussed on improving and expanding frontline services in the face of many global challenges, and with this will come increased investment and recognition from Treasury.”

“As an industry that is 60 per cent export focussed it is critical that the agricultural portfolio has the resources and distinction it needs for our exporters to deliver to over 100 global destinations; but also protect our food businesses from incoming biosecurity incursions.”

RMAC has also paid tribute to the outgoing and incoming agricultural Secretaries.

“We thank Mr Daryl Quinlivan OAM for his work for Australian agriculture, particularly the Australian red meat and livestock industry, for his outstanding contribution and continued engagement with our industry as a regulator and policy leader.”

“We look forward to working with Mr Andrew Metcalfe OAM on implementing our Red Meat 2030 plan and progressing consideration of A better red meat future: A White Paper for the Red Meat Advisory Council from February 2020.”

ENDS

Media Contact:  Anna Campbell, anna@rmac.com.au, 0448 692 245