Macdonald pleads case for the North

With the government finalising its drought assistance package, North Queensland based Senator Ian Macdonald today urged the Cabinet to make special provision for the North.

The Northern beef cattle industry started the drought well behind the bunch because their income and business plans had been destroyed by a secret, immediate decision of the Gillard government, which needs a decision by Government to correct, Senator Macdonald said.

Most graziers would have normally had contingent plans for drought but when their means of livelihood was taken away, without warning, a couple of years before, it means they are now in an intolerable position.

Senator Macdonald asked for special assistance to be made available for those impacted by the live cattle ban.

Remember this ban affected not only pastoralists but also the communities reliant on them. All businesses need to be compensated, he said.

I urge the Cabinet to understand and recognise the special plight of the Northern beef cattle industry and the communities and businesses reliant upon it.

" I have petitioned both the Prime Minister and the Agriculture Minister for additional support for those devastated by the Gillard governments live cattle ban.

I applaud the Prime Ministers visit to southern drought areas and hope that his absence from the North doesnt mean the special problems of the Northern beef cattle industry caused by the live cattle ban are ignored, Senator Macdonald said.

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