Cattle industry bouncing back

The cattle industry in North East Queensland has bounced back with the election of the Abbott government, North Queensland based Senator Ian Macdonald said today.

Although the drought is still causing problems in the north west of the state, graziers report a significant upturn in prices and export markets, Senator Macdonald said.

As we promised before the election, Tony Abbott visited Indonesia as his first overseas trip as Prime Minister and began the process of restarting this vital trade.

The live cattle export ban imposed so suddenly and irresponsibly by the Gillard government was a body blow for the cattle industry.

Overnight the international market for cattle was shut down and graziers had nowhere to turn. Suddenly, all their cattle had to be sold either to the meatworks or for fattening and prices dropped.

Before the ban an average bullock was bringing $1100, he said.

After the ban, followed by the drought, the average bullock was bringing just $800 and graziers were desperate.

Since the election of the Abbott government, the declining Australian dollar and the improved trade relations with neighbouring countries has meant the live cattle trade is back in full swing, not just with Indonesia but with new markets opening up in Vietnam and the Philippines.

It is very pleasing to discover that the price of an average bullock is back to the pre-ban level of $1100.

Senator Macdonald said that the industry believed that this was just the start of an improving trend which was expected to continue upwards.

All that we need now is some way to make it rain out west and everyone will be happy, he said.

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