Ag industries need to factor in minister churn

Ag industries need to factor in minister churn

DEAL WITH IT: It's business as usual in Canberra for farming sectors. Photo by Jamila Toderas

DEAL WITH IT: It's business as usual in Canberra for farming sectors. Photo by Jamila Toderas


Red meat leaders say the onus is on ag to prosecute its case in Canberra


Agriculture minister churn is not going to stop so the onus is on farming sectors to prosecute their case to the government of the day, red meat industry leader Don Mackay says.

If agriculture industries can't convince governments of their importance, the fault lays with them, he said.

As the red meat industry shapes up to take its issues to the fourth agriculture minister it has done business with in the past six years, industry leaders say it's imperative all agriculture sectors have their advocacy and representation functions finely tuned to operate successfully in modern-day government liaisons.

"Our industry is the largest export at-risk manufacturing business in the country. It employs over 400,000 people and we mange 70 per cent of Australia's landmass," Mr Mackay told a Rural Press Club of Queensland gathering in Brisbane last week.

"We're a big ticket item."

Mr Mackay said during the past election phase, the work red meat wanted to do in restructuring its industry bodies was accepted by the government and was also broad Labor policy.

"We believe it's important to have them batting together. We are one of few industries that when we have a party everyone turns up. We've been able to establish a bipartisan approach to everything we do," Mr Mackay said.

Still, the red meat industry should constantly ask if its systems are the most effective they can be, he said.

"We are often generators of a false bureaucracy which is perpetuated by an endless series of industry meetings, after-hours hook ups and media releases," Mr Mackay said.

"Our current calculations put the number of national agri-political committees at over 130.

"Many of these meetings are important, but certainly not all. Many businesses fail to engage with their national industry associations simply because of the intensive time and travel requirements.

"This industry bureaucracy is so unique that we have been given our own special brand of politics - agripolitics."

SEE ALSO: Four ag ministers in six years

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