Senator Matthew Canavan.
Senator Matthew Canavan. Allan Reinikka

Govt inquiry to focus on meat sector and help beef producers

A FEDERAL Senate inquiry into the meat processing industry is likely to hold hearings in Rockhampton.

Federal Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry and Rockhampton-based Senator Matt Canavan said in a statement released yesterday the inquiry would focus on the effect of market consolidation on the red meat processing sector.

"We will examine the potential for misuse of market power through buyer collusion and the resultant impact on producer returns," Senator Canavan said.

"Profitability for producers is determined by the price they receive and - despite strong international demand and good prices for Australian red meat - producer returns depend on healthy competition among buyers here."

Ms Landry said the beef sector was one of the most important agriculture industries in Central Queensland.

"Beef producers have been struggling in recent years to achieve good prices," she said. "So, the beef sector will most likely welcome this inquiry with open arms."

Senator Canavan said the inquiry would examine the impact of the red-meat processor consolidation on market competition, creation of regional monopolies and returns to farm gate.

He said the inquiry had just been established this week and no decision had been made on when and where hearings would be held.

"I will be pushing for a hearing in Rockhampton," he said.



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