Prime Minister Scott Morrison chatting with Heights College students at Beef Australia
Prime Minister Scott Morrison chatting with Heights College students at Beef Australia

Chicken or beef? Students ask ScoMo the tough questions

Chicken nuggets were a top topic of discussion for Prime Minister Scott Morrison as he toured the grounds of Beef Australia on Tuesday.

Led by an entourage of Beef Australia board members and Capricornia MP Michelle Landry, Wright MP Scott Buchholz, Agriculture Minister David Littleproud and Leader of the Opposition MP David Crisafulli, the Prime Minister checked out all of the areas of the triennial expo.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison talking to Hannah Gunthorpe, 2, Theodore in the centre ring at Beef Australia
Prime Minister Scott Morrison talking to Hannah Gunthorpe, 2, Theodore in the centre ring at Beef Australia
Prime Minister Scott Morrison speaking with Pippa King from Goondiwindi in the centre ring at Beef Australia
Prime Minister Scott Morrison speaking with Pippa King from Goondiwindi in the centre ring at Beef Australia

When visiting a group of school children at the Kids Zone, a brave Rockhampton Heights College student asked Mr Morrison if he could ask him a question.

Mr Morrison happily obliged and the student asked “do you like chicken nuggets”, to which he laughed and answered ‘yes’, and a further discussion about chicken nuggets vs chicken tenders unfolded.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison having a taste of the steak he just cooked at Beef Australia
Prime Minister Scott Morrison having a taste of the steak he just cooked at Beef Australia

Celebrity chef Shane Bailey also hosted Mr Morrison in the celebrity chef kitchen, showing him around as the PM quizzed the chefs.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison with Downlands College, Toowoomba, students.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison with Downlands College, Toowoomba, students.

He then went outside where Mr Morrison seasoned and grilled a steak on the BBQ.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison serving up the steak he just cooked at Beef Australia
Prime Minister Scott Morrison serving up the steak he just cooked at Beef Australia

The entourage was then led out to the centre ring where Mr Morrison chatted to some young children before he awarded prizes and posed for photos with the bulls.

Mr Morrison said after floods and droughts, it was great to see the agricultural industry coming together.

“It is a very welcome sight, and for the industry to be celebrating its own success and its perseverance, I think is a tremendous thing,” Mr Morrison said.

“And it‘s good to be able to say thank you to them for the great job that they’re doing.

“But the best way that we can say thank you and to support the industry, as we’ve supported Beef Week here, is to be doing the things on policy that supports their success.

“It‘s been great to see here at Beef Week how this sector is taking such strong steps forward whether it comes to technology, whether it comes to how they manage their pastures, how they’re contributing to the broader emissions reduction task, how they’re contributing to jobs, how they’re contributing to the success of our exports.”

Celebrity chef Shane Bailey talking to Prime Minister Scott Morrison about cooking steak.
Celebrity chef Shane Bailey talking to Prime Minister Scott Morrison about cooking steak.

“I‘ve been inspired by the resilience and the resourcefulness of people and just listening to their stories about what they’ve been doing over these last few years in between Beef Weeks.

“The struggles they‘ve had, but some of the success they’re now having.

“I think one of the things that really does excite me though, is the amount of attention that is now going into the technology side of this business and a realisation of the data analytics and the various tools that are available to the livestock industry working with quite extreme environmental challenges and really harnessing the use of technology to get on top of that and then using the data to make their farming methods even more productive.”

Mr Morrison announced a new $371 million biosecurity package to equip Australia in keeping out pests and diseases and increase the ability to fight an outbreak.

“Protecting our borders is as much about protecting our livestock, crops and environment from diseases that have the potential to devastate them and the livelihoods they support, as it does the health of Australians during COVID-19 or protecting Australia’s national security,” he said.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison with Brett Nobbs and Anna McCamley, awarding the calf champion Brahman bull.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison with Brett Nobbs and Anna McCamley, awarding the calf champion Brahman bull.

Australia’s biosecurity system protects $42 billion in inbound tourism and $53 billion in agriculture exports, supporting 1.6 million Australian jobs across the supply chain.

In 2020 there were more than 2.5 million container arrivals into Australia, 19,000 commercial vessel arrivals and 60 million mail items.

“Some 35,000 pests and diseases detections put in place by our border agencies and our quarantine, that‘s a fantastic job,” Mr Morrison said.

“But the risks continue to be out there and they‘re ever present.

“That $371 million covers things like new 3D x-rays and screening, boots on the ground and paws on the ground when it comes to detection dogs and others, which are keeping a secure agricultural industries.

“It is also involving the partnership between the states and territories in the Commonwealth because should there ever be a breach how we deal with any outbreak within the country is also incredibly important as the further rings of containment.”

Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management David Littleproud said the package was comprehensive.

“We’ve increased the number of dogs in our quarantine centres right across our ports and airports,” Mr Littleproud said.

“And we‘re also making sure we’re putting more men and women out there detecting, making the detections.

“But also the scientists, it‘s important to understand we are able to be able to do the science quickly to identify the threat.

“And that means that we’re then able to make real time decisions about how we’re going to address that threat.

“But we‘re also now engaging for the first time in real technology that is going to give us increased capacity of being able to look at more parcels, more bags, more containers.

“Our biosecurity is predicated on intelligence and technology.

“We need the intelligence to understand what‘s coming into this country, and that’s making sure that we can understand what’s coming in parcels, but also people’s bags.”



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