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Ludwig out of touch: producer

Kate MatthewsCountryman
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Southern cattle producer John Pugh says the handling of the situation with Indonesia was disgraceful.

"We were keen to see Ludwig removed for his total lack of understanding for the whole situation and for being so rude to a neighbour we need to get along with," he said.

"Now we are getting our comeuppance and let's face it, it's a bit of payback."

Along with his family, Mr Pugh runs Summit Gelbvieh in Narrikup and a feedlot in Three Springs.

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Mr Pugh said the Government had made dealing with Australia much harder than other countries.

"Given a choice… if you could buy them (cattle) from someone else you would because of all the impositions we put on them," he said.

Mr Pugh said the cut in imports by Indonesia would not be a problem in the short-term for southern producers, but would be in the medium to long term.

"We've got good prices at present because of the shortage and everybody's downsized. There hasn't been much incentive to breed cattle but the incentive is there now," he said.

Mr Pugh said new markets would be needed for northern cattle, and live shipping - including to Indonesia - would have a big part to play.

He believes Prime Minister Julia Gillard missed an opportunity to improve relations with Indonesia during the cabinet reshuffle by removing Mr Ludwig.

He said the Government needed to show diplomacy and send Foreign Affairs Minister Kevin Rudd to talk to the Indonesians.

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