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60pc back increase in transaction levy

THE Australian cattle industry last week endorsed an increase in the cattle transaction levy, with almost 60 per cent of voters supporting the $1.50 increase, from $3.50 to $5. This was in line with preliminary results of the Beef (industry wide) Ballot 2005, which showed that almost 60 per cent of the industry supported the levy increase. This was made up of 55 per cent support from the grass-fed sector and 67 per cent in the grain-fed sector – giving an aggregate of 58 per cent support. Results also showed that voting was evenly spread across the industry with no single sector dominating the result. The six-week ballot was the result of a recommendation from the Beef Industry Funding Steering Committee and independent industry committee of producers, processors and feedlotters. BIFSC chair Don McDonald said it was an outstanding ballot result given the difficult seasonal conditions many producers had experienced during recent months, and the additional costs currently being introduced from other industry initiatives. “I’m particularly heartened by the participation figures; a total of 9,810 ballots were received,” he said. The BIFSC was started to look at the industry’s investment in marketing and whether adequate resources were being directed towards sustaining and building demand for beef into the future. It found that unless the industry was prepared to invest a further $21.3 million a year in market development and promotion, demand for beef would not increase and prices could collapse.

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