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Inquiry into levy welcome

PLANNING AHEAD: Federal Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry and Robert Lovegrove, stock manager at Acton Land and Cattle Company, at Paradise Lagoons.
PLANNING AHEAD: Federal Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry and Robert Lovegrove, stock manager at Acton Land and Cattle Company, at Paradise Lagoons. Rachael Conaghan

AS ONE of the biggest levy payers in the grassfed cattle industry, Graeme Acton is glad a senate inquiry is finally looking into how that money is being spent.

Many other local cattle producers are also backing the inquiry into the levies for marketing, research and development.

Robert Lovegrove is the stock manager at Acton Land and Cattle Company, of which Mr Acton is the managing director.

He said all cattle producers should make their voices heard in the submission.

"I think the money should be spent by the individual producer myself. When times are tough, producers are better off buying feed and fencing and general maintenance that goes into the production of beef."

Banana Station grazier Richard Wilson believes the inquiry will be excellent for the industry.

"I believe it's time for a really good review of all aspects of the industry," he said.

"It (the levy) is going to the areas that we need it to go to, but we need to make sure we're getting the best value for it.

"In this whole review I hope it's wide enough to look at all the ancillaries and see that at the end of the day we only keep the ones that are absolutely necessary."

Richard also said they needed to ensure the structure was right so the industry could move forward in the modern age.

"Over time there have been too many reviews and not enough good outcomes … we're over-regulated, we're over-managed," he said.

Federal Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry said she had many concerned graziers contact her office about the levy.

"People are concerned where their money is being spent. They really want to know that they're getting value for money."

Ms Landry also said her office wanted to ensure they heard from the grassroots producers, not just major agricultural groups.

"It's very, very important we find out how it's affecting them," she said.

"I'm sure if they find out it is going to a worthy cause with research and development it will make them happy to know it's actually helping their industry."

It is also hoped the inquiry will make Australian exports more competitive in the global market.

"We've had the high cost of the Australian dollar and obviously our employment over here is costly, so it's just another thing that will help for us to export Australian beef," she said.

Submissions close on March 1 and can be made at the Parliament of Australia website.

Topics:  cattle graeme acton livestock