Aussie Beef Producers Vote for Levy Consistency

AUSTRALIA - Beef producers have today voted in support of maintaining the current $5 per head Cattle Transaction Levy in the lead up to the Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) AGM in November.
calendar icon 31 July 2009
clock icon 2 minute read

NSW Farmers’ Association Cattle Committee Chair Richard Chamen says the vote, which took place today, day three of the NSW Farmers’ Association’s Annual Conference, indicates beef cattle Members are comfortable with the current system.

“There has been a great deal of controversy surrounding the $5 levy in the past few months, and this is set to continue up until the final vote at the AGM in November,” Mr Chamen said.

“But today’s result indicates that NSW beef producers appreciate the important role the levy plays in providing funds to MLA to conduct research and development and marketing activities to promote Australian beef,” Mr Chamen said.

Today’s vote follows the release of findings from the independently appointed Beef Marketing Funding Committee in October 2008, which found that the levy is returning significant financial benefits to the Australian beef industry.

According to Mr Chamen, today’s vote marks the second show of support for the levy from the Association’s Members.

“Our Members voted in favour of a $5 per head cattle transaction levy at our Annual Conference four years ago, and today the results are the same,” Mr Chamen said.

The Cattle Transaction Levy was originally increased from $3.50 to $5 per head in 2006 after cattle producers voted in a nationwide poll to increase the amount needed for beef marketing.

In accepting the changes to the Levy, the Federal Government set a “sunset clause” of 1 January 2011, meaning that on that date, the Cattle Transaction Levy will revert to $3.50 per head unless an alternative proposal is put to the Federal Minister for Agriculture beforehand.

MLA’s cattle producer members will have the ultimate say on what the marketing component of the cattle transaction levy should be when the AGM is held in November.

The third and final day of the NSW Farmers’ Association Annual Conference is currently underway at Sydney Showground. The cattle transaction levy is one of 13 meat and livestock motions being debated by Conference delegates today.

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