11 December 2013: KAP Leader and Federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter, is deeply concerned by Indonesian media reports that Indonesian cattle importers have been asked by the Indonesian Government to temporarily halt bringing in Australian livestock, pending the restoration of Australian-Indonesian diplomatic relations.
“I cannot overemphasise that there is a very real possibility that our cattle market to Indonesia is in jeopardy, and I must alert the cattlemen and women of Australia to this danger.
“The market to Indonesia was open and we were looking to a 7% increase in demand of the total market, moving us towards decent farm-gate prices.
“Now we could lose 2%, instead of getting an increase of 7%, through a bit of rock headed intransigence by our Prime Minister.
“I do not believe the Federal Government is moving in any way to preserve the relationship with our nearest neighbour and every Australian should have an interest in this,” Mr Katter said.
Mr Katter has paid credit to the Indonesian Ambassador and the work of the Cattlemen’s Crisis Committee, chaired by North Queensland grazier Barry Hughes.
“It has only been the wonderful work done by the Cattlemen’s Crisis Committee, ourselves and most importantly the Indonesian Ambassador, to give our cattlemen in theory an extra $200-300 per head,” Mr Katter said.
Mr Katter and the Cattlemen’s Crisis Committee have had protracted constant discussions with the Indonesian Ambassador, including hosting the Ambassador on a tour of the Gulf Live Export facilities in Karumba and Gulf cattle stations.
Mr Katter has continually restated the need for fundamental reforms to ensure agriculture in Australia has longevity.
“We still have a government that will not take the slightest interest in the skyrocketing Australian dollar.
“Our government has the most cavalier attitude with the dollar, and we should be getting twice as much for our product.
“It seems that the people in this Parliament continue to sit on their hands and knees, while the cattle industry is mauled,” said Mr Katter.