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ABA Overwhelmed By End MLA Support

23 September 2010

AUSTRALIA - The Australian Beef Association (ABA) says it is overwhelmed by the response from cattle producers nationwide to its proposal to wind up Meat and Livestock Australia Limited (MLA).

A spokesperson for the ABA said this week that 212 responses had been received offering support and urging the ABA to continue its committment to end the reign of MLA.

"That was in just four days. We needed only 100 responses under the constitution,'' the spokesperson said.

The ABA dropped the motion, "That the MLA be wound up before December 2011" only last week and the resolution will now go before the MLA annual General Meeting in Launceston on November 17.

Townsville-based MLA chairman Don Heatley said the action by ABA threatened the industry and put at risk current marketing and research development programmes.

Mr Heatley listed several initiatives under threat including domestic beef's new $5 marketing programme designed to strengthen the beef brand and consumers to purchase beef meals.

There has been an ongoing bitter battle of words between the ABA and MLA, the nation's government supported livestock promotional vehicle for several months, if not years, and it has finally come to a festering head.

ABA claim that domestic beef consumption has declined by 20 per cent since 1998 in spite of population growth, while retail prices for beef has increased by 25 per cent.

It claims cattle prices have remained static or declined in real terms.

But the most damaging accusation is the ABA claim that the MLA has spent $700 million on an estimated 4000 research and development projects of which, it says, $600 million has not been accounted for.

ABA chairman Brad Bellinger said the MLA has burdened beef producers with a $500m mandatory NLIS white elephant.

TheCattleSite News Desk



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