This motion proposed by Senator Lazarus should be opposed. The motion would spread unnecessary uncertainty in our cattle industry and in particular our northern cattle industry. His motion implies that free trade agreements and also the live cattle trade itself could cause job losses. The logical end point of this motion and if the Senate supported it would be to ban or restrict exports of live cattle in favour of processing in Australia. We saw how disastrous this was in 2011 for our entire industry.
Cattle Council president, Howard Smith, today has come out and said that market intervention in Australia's beef supply chain would be strongly opposed by beef producers. This motion would undermine confidence in the live cattle trade at a time when producers with cattle are finally getting strong returns after a long period of deflated prices. Senator Lazarus calling into question the value of Australia's free trade agreements and singling out the ChAFTA agreement in particular would be very detrimental to our beef producing industry. Removal of tariffs will bring billions of dollars of extra value to... (time expired)