The shock closure of the Quoiba saleyards hastens the need for a meat industry development officer, the head of the state’s peak farming body has said.
It comes after upset West Kentish beef farmer Jan Crosswell asked what’s happened to implement the key recommendation of the report produced by the Tasmanian Meat Industry Working Group convened 15 months ago. The Working Group chaired by Liberal MLC Leonie Hiscutt was set-up in November 2018 in response to the sudden closure of the abattoir.
“If we ever need a meat industry development officer, it’s now more than ever. Where are they?” Mrs Crosswell said.
Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers’ Association chief executive Peter Skillern said the process to appoint someone is underway.
“I concur with the comments this is the time the red meat sector needs an industry development officer,” Mr Skillern said.
“I think the sale of the Quoiba saleyards could see more emphasis placed on getting a speedy response to that.”
Seven months ago, the State Government accepted all 26 of the Working Group’s recommendations.
A State Government spokesman said the funding was approved before Christmas to go to the TFGA for an industry development officer.
Since then, the State Government and the TFGA were negotiating the details of how the money gets spent. A deed of agreement is expected to be signed soon to release the funds to the farming body to recruit someone.
“The 2019-20 State Budget invests $1 million to drive development in the red meat industry and to deliver the Working Group’s recommendations,” a State Government spokesman said.
“This includes funding to the TFGA for the employment of an industry development officer and takes government investment in the meat industry over two years to more than $2.4m.”
Earlier this week, Mrs Crosswell slammed the decision by Roberts to shut the saleyards and centralise operations at Powranna, giving six months’ notice to farmers who say it’s a bad move.
Article Credit – www.theadvocate.com.au
Image credit – Not Happy: West Kentish beef farmers Jan and Wally Crosswell are unhappy about the decision by Roberts to close the Quoiba saleyards.