Commercial cattle back

Rockhampton lives up to its reputation as beef capital


Brendan Wade updates news from around the saleyards.


Congratulations to the Rockhampton Show commercial and stud cattle committees on a successful 2019 show.

The commercial trade cattle show once again became an integral element of event and was reborn this year at the show after a 17-year absence.

For various reasons, producers stopped displaying commercial cattle at the show in 2002 but a determined push to relive the heady days of the 1970s-1990s has fuelled a dramatic U-turn.

Last October, Rockhampton Regional Council formed a new show committee to drive change, collaborating with the Rockhampton Cattle Club and commercial cattle producers over the past eight months.

Ben Geddes, the chairman of the commercial cattle sub-committee, said it was extremely important to lure country people back to the show.

Sir Grahman McCamley generously donated two quality red Brahman bullocks for the guess the weight competition.

My esteemed QCL colleague Helen Walker kept her reputation in tact when she guessed the weight of a horned bullock.

She told me she had two guesses on the bullock one at 688kg and another at 668kg thinking he may hollow out before weighing.

Helen said the bullock hit the scales at exactly 688kg declaring her the winner. I believe the winner of the polled bullock, which weighed 708kg, was Ray Carberry, who has been notified but is yet to come forward to collect his prize.

The Rockhampton Commercial Cattle and Show Society organising committee worked hard to bring back the commercial trade cattle show.

The Rockhampton Commercial Cattle and Show Society organising committee worked hard to bring back the commercial trade cattle show.

Wendy Cole, Kenrol Brahmans, Gracemere and her stud cattle committee also conducted a brilliant stud cattle exhibition including the 97 head Brahman feature show.

Australian is a trading nation with a significant amount of agricultural product leaving our shores to feed the world and any disturbance to the balance of trade globally can have either a positive or negative impact on the prices received back to farm gate.

The most significant indication of that is the "tariff war" between Beijing and Washington. Not that Beijing will punish Australian farmers directly, but by looking wider to secure food and fibre could potentially cause us some minor pain.

Our sheep meat prices are at record levels and beef export prices are solid thanks in a large part to China.

They are purchasing our red meat products at record levels and this is likely to continue aggressively for some time, however, there is competition.

This Asian market has now been opened up to both Germany and Britain. The UK reached a deal for beef to be exported to China by the end of this year.

This is the first time since the 1990s when British beef was banned due to the outbreak of mad cow disease. They are also considering importing buffalo meat from India.

Our processing sector, along with MLA work extremely hard to maintain and grow our markets and certainly don't rest on their laurels in this competitive meat trading environment.

Regional airfares in Australia are among the highest in the world and as such should be opened up for scrutiny.

We unfortunately ranked as the 12th most expensive in which to fly out of 136 countries surveyed.

A study found the cost here was $US29.39 per 100km, compared with Malaysia, the cheapest in which to fly at $US4.18 per 100km.

The government has to address this urgently as in coming months new government-provided security scanning equipment will be installed in a number of regional airports.

Yes, the government will provide the equipment, but the airports are required to pay for the operational expense to run and maintain that equipment.

Regional airports are not money making enterprises like, say, Sydney and Brisbane airports, so one can expect little in the way of fare relief in the near term.

On the day that a return trip to Mt Isa was priced around $1000 return, Jetstar (Qantas' low cost carrier) was offering one way from Brisbane to Melbourne (Avalon airport) trips from $80. Where is the fairness here?

Yes they have more traffic to the major cities but as a service to regional communities lets balance the up the fares more equitably for all consumers regardless where they live or where they travel to or from.

  • Brendan Wade: 0439 663 060,

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