Federal Labor launched a Red Meat Strategy Discussion Paper today.
Federal Labor’s Country Caucus Spokesman and Shadow Minister for Agriculture Joel Fitzgibbon joined Country Caucus members and Labor Candidate for Flynn Zac Beers in Gladstone today for the release of the document.
Mr Fitzgibbon said one of Australia’s largest manufacturing sectors is being held back by a range of challenges including workforce shortages, non-tariff barriers to export markets, supply disruption and high costs.
“We live in a world in which the high quality product we produce is in growing demand but farmers and processors are being held back by unnecessary challenges,” Mr Fitzgibbon said.
“Senator Kim Carr and I agreed more than a year ago that to overcome these barriers we need a whole-of-government approach. So in addition to consulting industry stakeholders and trade union representatives we’ve been working with other shadow ministerial colleagues with responsibility for issues like vocational training, visas, energy, workplace relations and trade.”
“The Discussion Paper is our path to a Strategic Red Meat Industry Plan which a Shorten Labor Government will use to lift productivity and to promote sustainable profitability for both producers and processors. That also means more regional jobs.”
Mr Fitzgibbon said Labor has already held three round tables and consulted most of the key stakeholders in the development of the Discussion Paper.
“We still have a lot of work to do but we are determined to create more meaningful jobs for young people in regional Australia, to ensure producers earn good returns and our largest manufacturing sector is as strong as it possibly can be.”