ABA Calls For Ag Minister To Go

AUSTRALIA - Australian Beef Association (ABA) Chairman, Brad Bellinger has said that it is time that the Prime Minister remove his Minister for Agriculture, Forest and Fisheries, Tony Burke, before he wrecks all the Industries under his portfolio and has all Australia’s food imported from countries that subsidise their producers.
calendar icon 2 March 2010
clock icon 2 minute read

“Tony Burke was the worst Agriculture Minister to ever hold the portfolio”, Mr Bellinger said.

Mr Bellinger said: “The Minister is selling out Australia’s Wheat and Beef Industries to countries that subsidise both commodities and can undercut Australian prices. He has removed Australia’s long treasured, ‘Single Desk’ for Wheat, at the request of the USA (who, unlike Australia, subsidise their wheat growers).

He is now moving to allow beef from countries with BSE (Mad Cow Disease) into Australia.

Mr Bellinger said: "This would allow the huge multi national processor, JBS Swift, which is subsidised by the Brazilian Government, to move beef (which is subsidised through feedlot grain in the USA) from their US plants into Australia at a profit. He noted that on the watch of Tony Burke, JBS Swift has become by far the dominant processor in Australia.

He continued, “Tony Burke’s Department swore Cattle Council (CCA) to secrecy on the BSE decision last September. Now Cattle Council has spent over $250,000 of producer levy funds in full page advertisements in weekend newspapers telling consumers that they will get imported beef! This is despite the fact that they cannot guarantee safety to the consumer and could decimate the cattle industry; - they are selling out those who fund them.”

“Minister Burke has no control of a portfolio that is running amuck with the future health and well being of Australia’s cattle producers and consumers. He must go – now”, Mr Bellinger stated.

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