Cattle arena helps sell policy

IF YOU'RE going to make a major announcement regarding Queensland's beef industry what better place to do it than at a cattle sale.

That's exactly what Peter Beattie did yesterday choosing the Gracemere Saleyards to announce funding packages for Beef 2006 and Queensland's National Livestock Identification System.

And while the eyes of the 1000-plus crowd at yesterday's Brahman Week sale were more focused on the centre ring auctions, Mr Beattie said the announcements were a big deal for the beef industry.

The funding packages comprised $505,000 to promote and run Beef 2006 and $800,000 to help the cost of NLIS tags for producers.

"It's a long term investment to generate the growth of an industry,'' he said.

Mr Beattie said Queensland producers needed to be able to trace and identify cattle to make the most of the lucrative Japanese market.

"Unless we can identify our beef we will be dead and buried.''

Beef Australia chairman Geoff Murphy said the funding was vital to the event's success.

"We couldn't survive without it, it's critical to the running of the event.''

He said the group would use the money to help attract interstate and international visitors to the event.

"It's important not just to Central Queensland but to Queensland and the rest of Australia.''

Member for Rockhampton Robert Schwarten said Beef 2006 was the city's premier event.

"It's about showcasing what we've got.

"It brings tourists and visitors to our centre.



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