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REVEALED: How CQ could lose 60,000 head of cattle in a year

Brangus cattle fattened off grass, on the marine plains at \
Brangus cattle fattened off grass, on the marine plains at \"Couti-Outi\" which has been owned by the Geddes family for 140 years. contributed

AGFORCE has crunched some numbers based on what they know so far about the Shoalwater Bay Expansion and the odds are not good for Central Queensland's cattle industry.

The military training area is being expanded after the Australian Government signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Singapore that will see an increase of Singapore troops training in here.

Central Regional Manager Sharon Howard says the numbers show about 70,000 head of cattle will be lost to the beef industry as a result of the land acquisition for the military training facility's expansion.

Mrs Howard, along with other AgForce representatives, attended meetings this week with landholders as they met with the Department of Defence representatives to discuss the project.

"They (the landholders) are mostly concerned about being forced to sell,” she said.

"There are certainly some people that see this as an opportunity to sell, but there are people that have never considered selling and don't want to move.”

Mrs Howard said AgForce believes there are 30-40 property owners affected by the expansion at Shoalwater Bay.

"We are looking at 60,000 to 70,000 head of cattle that will be displaced,” she said.

The Bulletin quickly spoke with Central Queensland Livestock Exchange's Leonard Coombs amid a 4000-head sale at the Gracemere complex yesterday.

He said he was not sure what the impact would be yet as it was still unknown which properties would be bought out by the Defence Department.

However, Mr Coombs said there would definitely be a reduction in numbers going through CQLX.

"We do draw cattle out of that country,” he said.

Agriculture Minister Bill Byrne said he will be talking to AgForce about their concerns.

These comments come after Melanie Findlay of Rees R and Sydney Jones lawyers about concerns she had about flooding the market with farmers who have been bought out and look for new properties.

Mrs Findlay explained they would only have a certain amount of time after selling their land to the Department of Defence to buy replacement properties if they qualify for certain capital gains tax roll-over relief.

Topics:  agforce cattle department of defence shoalwater bay military training


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