DEPUTY Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce declined to get involved in a debate on Australia's "beef capital", but he did express a promise that a re-elected Coalition government would deliver a $1 million boost to Casino Beef Week.
"I won't mention that other city (Rockhampton) today because it has something to do with horns and testicles," he said.
He shared his enthusiasm for the cattle trade, farm machinery and Australian farms at the launch of Norco Primex in Casino yesterday.
While launching the three-day field day, Mr Joyce reiterated a statement he made at the National Press Club.
"If it walks and it is not human, there is someone in the world who wants to eat it," Mr Joyce said.
"Ladies and gentlemen, there is a protein deficit in the world.
"That's why we drive these free trade agreements, that's why we make sure we have the seven new live animal destinations, that's why we wander over to Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, to China and the Middle East - to make sure our product is moving.
"Making sure we get those grass-fed bulls to Saudi Arabia, making sure we can get live cattle into China, and keep on driving our boxed meat and our processed meat is critical.
"And we make sure we also invest in upgrading the infrastructure.
"Between myself and Kevin Hogan here we put $24 million on the table for the upgrade of the Legume-Woodenbong section of the Mount Lindsay Hwy.
"That is vitally important for this area, to get the cattle down and to keep the Casino meatworks going."
He also expressed his support for Primex.
"I have noticed today and told my Coalition that when we leave I'll just be putting a little small cattle crush in the back and we'll take that back to western New South Wales with me," he said laughing.
Mr Joyce said events such as the Casino Beef Week and Primex demonstrated the important but often under-appreciated role agricultural industries played in bringing Australia closer to the world.
In 2013-14, Australia exported about 1.2 million tonnes of beef product, valued at $6.2 billion.
"In that same year we exported 1.13 million head of live cattle, valued at $1 billion," Mr Joyce said.
Fairfax Rural Events group manager Kate Nugent said that one could not underestimate the importance of field days like this in the agricultural calender with 400 exhibitors.
"We have 1200 companies represented on-site, and we have over 40,000 people expected to attend the days and we have with us a huge product range - from abrasives to fertilisers, tools to tractors," she said.
- June 23-25, open daily from 9am to 4pm
- Richmond Valley Events Centre, Bruxner Hwy
- Free parking
Adults, pensioners & children 15+ - $10
Children 10-14 years - $5
Children under 10 - free
Family (2 adults & 2 children) - $25
School groups - $5
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