Author Topic: Another tax impost the live exporters escape - threat to Casino meat processor  (Read 937 times)

Export News Tasmania

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Carbon tax to cost processor $1m.

 BIG Northern NSW farmer-owned red meat processor the Northern Co-operative Meat Company has put the costs of a carbon tax to its business in the vicinity of a million dollars a year.

And given it is 70 per cent export focused, where it competes with countries with no carbon scheme in place, it's boss, chief executive officer Simon Stahl, says there is only one way those additional costs will go - to the beef producer.

In a time when all talk is of food security, how much sense does it make to be sending signals to Australian food growers that it is not worth it to stay on the job?

That's the question being asked throughout regional Australia, according to The Nationals Senate leader Barnaby Joyce and his fellow Senators and MPs who visited the Casino meat processing plant as part of a two-day North Coast trip this week.

A carbon tax, Senator Joyce said, meant massive increases in costs to businesses that were the backbone of regional and rural Australia for something that 'won't change the temperature outside.'

"For what purpose do we put that threat on the biggest employer in Casino?" he said.

"Don't we believe in Australian-owned companies?"

Queensland Liberal National Party MP Paul Neville, Federal Member for Hinkler, said given the Casino meatworks employs 1000 people, one in every five families in the town would be affected.

"This is no academic argument. It's very much live and in-your-guts," he said.

"This is a tax that will be reflected in either higher meat prices or increased costs to the producer - both very significant to regional Australia."

George Christensen, Federal Member for Dawson, said meatworks across the country were facing the same threat and already producers in Queensland were talking about reducing the number of head they turn off as a direct result.

In signature colourful style, Senator Joyce said there must be a picture of the Australian farmer in (Prime Minister) Julia Gillard's office and a pack of darts "and every day she just chooses which part she'll throw at."

Having just returned from a trip to the Northern Territory where he says beef producers were "still getting up off their knees" after the live cattle export fiasco, Mr Joyce said the hearts of Australian primary producers were being broken, not by drought or flood but by their Federal Government.

19 Apr, 2012
« Last Edit: April 23, 2012, 11:44:49 PM by WA Export News »