Board rejects moving beef event

THE Beef Australia cattle industry expositions will continue to be held just once every three years, in line with strong views from exhibitors, primary producers and sponsors not to switch to a two-year cycle.

Beef Australia expositions are the biggest and most comprehensive cattle industry events in the country.

They are held in the 'beef capital' of Rockhampton Central Queensland, with the next event due to run from May 7-12 this year.

The events are a celebration of all facets of the beef industry in Australia and are designed to facilitate new trade and export opportunities by exposing the local supply chain to the international industry leaders.

"The Beef Australia board wanted to consider whether our goals could be better achieved by holding the event more regularly," the event's chairman Geoff Murphy said.

"To consider that we needed to have a good understanding of what that change would mean to the local community, the beef industry, the businesses that participate, and the visitors who come from across Australia and around the world to attend."

Late last year CQUniversity conducted two online surveys - one to collect community views and the other to gather feedback from exhibitors and cattle producers - as well as a number of stakeholder interviews, to examine the pros and cons of changing the event to a two-year cycle.

The results of the survey have been delivered to the Beef Australia board, which has supported the recommendation to retain the event on the three-year cycle it has followed since inception in 1988.

"The results of CQUniversity's survey are clear and the Beef Australia board has agreed that the 10th Beef Australia exposition to be held from May 4-9, 2015," Mr Murphy said.

CQUniversity Director of the Centre for Environmental Management, Professor John Rolfe, oversaw the research, which examined questions including how frequently people attend Beef Australia events, their motivations for doing so, reasons why people do not attend, and the likelihood of visitors, producers, sponsors and exhibitors participating if the event was held every two years.

The surveys and interviews revealed that strong feelings against a biennial pattern but little evidence of passionate support for a biennial event.

The key reasons identified against a switch to a biennial exhibition were that the event may lose its uniqueness; suffer reduced sponsorship; some trade exhibitors and stud stock breeders would reduce their time commitments to exhibit at the event; stud stock breeders may not have enough time to change the genetic base in their herd; and the focus of the event may change more towards an 'entertainment' event rather than an exhibition focused on beef.

A one-page Plain English Statement of Results from CQUniversity Australia is available on the Beef Australia website, www.beefaustralia.com.au.



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