A full house of beef producers at the Lismore store sale on Saturday voted as one, backing a call to freeze cattle transaction levies during the present difficult drought.
Agent Kevin Cocciola from Ian Weir and Son asked for the show of hands, citing the precedent set by NSW Local Land Services in suspending rates for 2019.
“Wiping out those rates was very good,” said Mr Cocciola.
“But producers are still hit with a $5 levy every time they sell a beast. We don’t know where the money goes.
“Meanwhile the man on the land is in enough hardship at the moment and it doesn’t matter if you are a small landholder or a huge one.”
Mr Cocciola said funding to Meat and Livestock Association for media advertising of beef had not, in his eyes, proved effective.
“Meanwhile, money for cattle is governed by the rain that falls out of the sky.”
“In the last six to 12 months producers have been getting no money for their cattle and yet meat in the shops is getting to the point that my own niece says she can’t afford steak – only sausages and mince.”
Mr Cocciola was prompted to address the issue after talking to Bindaree Beef founder John “JR” McDonald, who is leading something of a campaign for change in the way beef dollars are skimmed off every transaction from birth to death.