Talks beef up Indonesia ties

Brad ThompsonThe West Australian
Barnaby Joyce.
Camera IconBarnaby Joyce. Credit: The West Australian

Two major cattle industry events in Broome will focus on beefing up trade by encouraging Indonesian interests to buy into stations and the Australian supply chain.

Building closer ties with Indonesia through cross investment will be the major focus of the Northern Producer Forum organised by the Department of Agriculture and Food WA.

In a sign of the importance of the event, Federal Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce will attend the forum on February 28. It will be his first visit to WA since taking up the key Cabinet post.

Representatives from the Indonesian Government and business community are also expected in Broome, along with WA Agriculture Minister Ken Baston, Queensland Agriculture Minister John McVeigh, Northern Territory Minister Willem Westra van Holthe and local and national industry leaders.

The heavyweight line-up will focus on building Indonesian and Australian trade relationships through bilateral investment. Their visit will include a field trip to two key beef operations.

The forum will visit Jack Burton's Kilto Station to look at the irrigated fodder production system integrated with the cattle supply chain and ILC Roebuck Export Yards to inspect the accredited quarantine facility. Most of the key players will remain in Broome the following day for the fourth Northern Beef Industry Round Table.

"The theme for the two-day event is 'investment in and markets out' and is focused on the relationship with our biggest trading partner - Indonesia," Mr Baston said.

"My focus lies firmly on markets. Asian markets are a key to our future, with Indonesia one of the most important.

"Indonesian live exports from WA in 2012 were worth $53 million, with boxed beef exports adding a further $15 million. To the end of November last year, live exports totalled $64 million and boxed beef sales reached $17 million."

Mr Baston said improving trade relations and finding new ways of doing business would lead to greater stability and profitability for cattle producers.

"Hopefully there will be a return to trade performance similar to that experienced in 2009 when WA's combined export receipts almost topped $200 million," he said.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails