KAP Leader and the Federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter MP is furious about the Federal Department of Agriculture increasing their fees and charges for live cattle export, by up to 66% in some cases.

As outlined on the Department of Agriculture’s website, processing, administration and overnight fees have risen to over $529 per 15 mins processing time.

According to Cattlemen in the Gulf this would equate to roughly $5 per head of cattle leaving Australia by sea.

Mr Katter believes that the Government have given with one hand but taken with the other and the additional fees are the difference between making a profit and running at a loss.

“Over 2000 farmers are in banking default in Qld. Only 168 applied for their concessional loans and only 64 of them were eligible for the assistance.

“To impose $5 a head fees and charges on top of what they (cattlemen) have been through in the last 3 years shows the callousness and officiousness of the ALP and the LNP ministers. This announcement leaves any decent Christian person with a foul smell of sewage in their nostrils.

“The ALP Government with their mindless callous vandalism, wrecked the live cattle export producers and their numerous contractors and employees and now this LNP mob are sitting on $720 million of loan monies and on top of this they have applied a $5 extra charge per head. We are talking about 10% of their entire income. After mustering and cartage, I doubt whether they would be making $300. $5 is the difference between making a profit and making a loss.

“Even before the live cattle debacle, there was only a 2% profit to cattlemen and now thanks to this Government, we can reduce this by 100%. In a similar situation, as a 29 year old Member of Parliament, I exploded with rage when a similar charge was imposed in a similar situation. Half a dozen ministers backed me up and I thought there were going to be fisty cuffs in the party room.” Mr Katter said.

The announcement to increase live export fees comes at a time when the industry is just starting to get back on its feet. Cattlemen were buoyed by the prospect of a renewed live export market, only to now be fit with live export fee increases.

“The light at the end of the tunnel is a loco motive coming at you at 100klms an hour.” Mr Katter said.

Bob Katter Steve O'Connor and Robbie Katter _Bob Katter, Steve O’Connor and Robbie Katter at the Karumba live cattle processing wharf, Qld.