From left, Kirsten Livermore, Senator Joe Ludwig and Geoff Murphy take questions from the media at yesterday’s announcement of $2.4m federal funding for next year’s conference.
From left, Kirsten Livermore, Senator Joe Ludwig and Geoff Murphy take questions from the media at yesterday’s announcement of $2.4m federal funding for next year’s conference. Chris Ison

Top cattle people coming to Rocky

AUSTRALIA’S biggest triennial beef conference will get $2.4 million from the Federal Government to host an expected 80,000 cattle industry figures in Rockhampton next year.

The BEEF 2012 conference will include thousands of the world’s top cattle men and women join scientists and other industry figures in Rockhampton to talk beef in May next year.

Federal Minister for Agriculture Joe Ludwig joined Beef Australia chairman Geoff Murphy and Federal Member for Capricornia Kirsten Livermore to announce the funding on Monday.

An increase of more than $200,000 on previous year’s grants, the money will go towards the cost of hosting the major conference, which Mr Murphy said could not go ahead without government support.

Board member and prominent Central Queensland grazier Geoff Maynard also welcomed the announcement.

Mr Maynard said while the conference had always had a focus on genetics exports, a special two-day genetics conference would be held to kick off the week-long event.

He said the event provided a “pathway” for graziers and feedlotters to look at trading genetics, and would also provide updates of the latest Australian research and developments in genetics and productivity improvements.

Beef Australia chief executive Roger Desailly said visitors for the May 2012 conference had already been confirmed from Brazil, the United States, Canada and New Zealand, and the event will have an expanded cattle genetics conference.

Mr Desailly said the huge tent city that was erected in 2009 will again be set up Rockhampton, but the home stay program would be expanded to farm stays within an hour of Rockhampton with hopes up to 500 conference delegates will stay with local beef producers and at homes in the Central Queensland city.

Having run since 1988, the conference is seen as the peak meeting for Australian graziers, but also brings a huge international contingent into Rockhampton.

Mr Murphy said the conference usually cost about $6 million to put on, but brought up to $8 million in direct benefits for the Central Queensland economy, particularly tourism operators.

Mr Desailly said while negotiations over who would host property visits for the event, some delegates may even get the opportunity to fly by helicopter or light plane to pastoral properties further a field.

Beef facts

Every three years the Australian beef industry and their international counterparts meet in Rockhampton for a week of innovation, collaboration, inspiration and celebration. Beef Australia 2012, Australia’s national beef exposition, will be held in May.



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