Northern cattle investment welcomed

News of mining magnate Gina Rinehart’s decision to invest in the Northern Australian cattle industry was welcomed by a senior northern-based politician today.

Senator Ian Macdonald, speaking from Weipa during hearings of the Joint Select Committee on Northern Australia, said that this investment would be a catalyst for further massive investment in the North.

Hancock Prospecting has bought a 50 per cent interest in two Kimberley cattle stations – Nerrima and Liveringa. The $40 million deal included Waroona Abattoirs, sparking speculation that the company will also process its cattle for export.

The Joint Select Committee, made up of Liberal, Labor and Greens MPs, is examining the potential for development of Northern Australia's mineral, energy, agricultural, tourism, defence and other industries.

"Mrs Rinehart's multi-million-dollar investment in the cattle and cattle processing industries underscores the Coalition's recognition of the potential of the North," he said.

"I am pleased to note as well that Andrew Forrest, Chairman of the Fortescue Metals Group, recently acquired Harvey Beef, Western Australia’s largest beef operation, for $30 million – another vote of confidence in the future of our beef industry,” said Senator Macdonald.

"Mrs Rinehart’s strong advocacy for opening up the North in her role as Chairman of Australians for Northern Development and Economic Vision (ANDEV) should not be underestimated," said Senator Macdonald.

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