Cattle Council tips benefits to north in Indonesian pact

Zach RelphCountryman
WAFarmers' Jessica Wallace, Cattle Council of Australia boss Margo Andrae, MLA’s Sam Warfield-Smith and Lucy Morris, of TW Pearson, at Lake Preston.
Camera IconWAFarmers' Jessica Wallace, Cattle Council of Australia boss Margo Andrae, MLA’s Sam Warfield-Smith and Lucy Morris, of TW Pearson, at Lake Preston. Credit: Cattle Council of Australia

Delivering a long-awaited trade pact between Australia and Indonesia will open up the northern WA cattle trade to improved export opportunities, the Cattle Council of Australia says.

After a tour with government officials to the State early last month, CCA chief executive Margo Andrae called for the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement’s ratification.

Federal Trade Minister Simon Birmingham inked the free-trade agreement with Indonesian counterpart Enggartiasto Lukita in Jakarta on March 4. Shadow trade minister Jason Clare endorsed the document’s signing.

The deal will allow more than 99 per cent of Australia’s exports to enter Indonesia either duty free or under improved and preferential arrangements.

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But the I-ACEPA needs to be ratified by the Australian and Indonesian parliaments to take effect.

Ms Andrae said discussions with WA cattle producers and exporters highlighted the agreement’s importance to market access opportunities for Australia’s red meat businesses.

“More than 70 per cent of all Australian red meat product is exported and opportunities like I-ACEPA demonstrate there is still massive room for export growth,” she said.

The comments come in the wake of a CCA-organised tour to WA with Federal Department of Agriculture and Water Resources and Meat and Livestock Australia representatives from April 8 to 12.

The annual five-day Rural Awareness Tour, aiming to take industry figures to the coalface of beef industry supply chains, visited Yeeda Pastoral Company’s Kilto Station on its opening day.

It was followed by a tour of Roebuck Plains Station near Broome on the event’s second day, before the party visited the Cullalla Feed-lot at Gingin and Muchea Live-stock Centre on April 10.

South West cattle producer Geoff Pearson’s feedlotting operation at Lake Preston hosted delegates on the fourth day, with the tour concluding in Perth on April 12.

Ms Andrae said industry consultation shined a light on the cattle trade ahead of this month’s poll.

“Our big picture policy and government engagement strategy endures far beyond short-term political cycles,” she said.

“But a Federal election is an important opportunity for industry to share our compelling vision and we look forward to ensuring our priorities are prominent leading up to May 18.”

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