Queensland’s red meat contribution to the state and national economies can never be underestimated. No matter which way you do the maths, Queensland is pivotal to the success of the national industry. We account for over 40 per cent of the national herd, some 11 million head of cattle, which in itself accounts for close on 50pc of the nation’s beef and veal production. Farm gate production would account to close on $6 billion on latest estimates.
Queensland's beef processing sector despite continuing roadblocks underpins the economic success of the state’s economy. As Queensland's largest manufacturing industry, the beef processing sector employs an estimated 20,000 workers. Queensland exporters processed about 3.5 million head of adult cattle, which would be close enough to 50pc of the national total. That would equate to over 1 million tonnes of carcase weight of beef and veal. The importance of the processing sector should not be lost on all Queenslanders, as we can be proud that the high standards and excellent implementation of the integrity systems that the industry has in place that will continue to ensure that the red meat product that provides these important regional and urban employment opportunities should and will always be appreciated by all Queenslanders
Market and seasonal conditions continue to hamper and rebuilding efforts were challenged at the start of 2018 with poor rainfall across many cattle regions. The first half has seen both male and female slaughter running above 2017 levels. The Eastern Young Cattle Indicator (EYCI) has responded to the larger flow of cattle and challenging conditions for many restockers, dipping below 500c/kg carcase weight (cwt) for the first time since mid-2015 (now minor recovery at 516 c/kg cwt) when the herd rebuild began in earnest. The re-build is on hold as female processing is hitting new highs in recent months. I hope that we have a ‘wet’ just around the corner and the herd re-build will kick-off again in early 2019.
Ten years of dedicated service in any industry is nothing to be sneezed at and Andrea Lethbridge has achieved that goal with the Australian Livestock and Property Agents Association (ALPA). The girl from Warren Point, home of the Lethbridge family for generations on the banks of the ‘mighty Maranoa’ started her working life with yours truly on a school sponsored work experience program when I was the Elders manager at Mitchell back in the late ’80s.
Andrea took up her position in 2008 taking over this senior position at ALPA from the well-respected industry identity Don Steele (AM) in November 2008.
Prior to coming to ALPA, she worked at the University of Queensland as their management accountant from March 2008 to Nov 2008. Andrea worked at AACo Brisbane as livestock sales co-ordinator 2000 to 2005 reporting to the Elders State Livestock Manger. Then she was promoted to quality systems officer at AACo Brisbane from 2005 to 2007, moving from Elders to AACo.
Australia’s ‘First Lady of the Outback’ Gina Rinehart has commissioned a cookbook to be available for the lucrative Christmas present giving season. The publication will not only feature some of the first lady’s favourite dishes when she visits her rural stations, but will also include farm and station life stories from her vast rural empire which now includes the Sir Sidney Kidman properties acquired a couple of years ago.
The word on the street is that Mrs Rinehart has a soft spot for meatloaf (no, not the singer) and you can be assured that on her rural visitations the station chefs all look to outdo one another to please the boss. To any station chef looking for a Christmas pay bonus, try substituting the real beef stock with Guinness. I will assure you the first lady will love it. Now I know her great friend Barnaby Joyce did not create a best seller with his Weatherboard & Iron publication, but he too will benefit from the upcoming gift giving season as books and socks are a safe play.