Gra­ziers push for Weipa live cat­tle port

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS WHY I DO WHAT I DO - Shane Ni­chols

A group of Cape York gra­ziers plan to see the re­turn of live cat­tle ex­port cat­tle ships to Weipa.

A group, the Cape York Penin­sula Live Ex­port Group, was formed re­cently and has moved quickly.

Two weeks ago a small work­ing bee worked to put to­gether some cat­tle yards at NQ Blast­ing in Weipa ca­pa­ble of han­dling around 3500 head of cat­tle.

The sec­re­tary of the Live Ex­port Group, Emma Jack­son, told a Cape news­pa­per that the group was con­sid­er­ing a ves­sel ca­pa­ble of ex­port­ing around 2000-2200 head at any one time.

“We’ve de­cided to do it our­selves with­out politi­cians and bu­reau­crats com­ing in and claim­ing credit,” she said.

She was con­fi­dent a ship would dock at Weipa this year to take on Cape York cat­tle.

The push for live ex­ports from Weipa is driven by the lo­gis­tics of dis­tance.

Cape gra­ziers cite the prob­lems and costs of hav­ing to send ex­port cat­tle to Ma­reeba or Townsville – ba­si­cally in the wrong di­rec­tion, which in­curs ex­tra travel costs such as feed for a longer jour­ney, and loss of weight and con­di­tion for the cat­tle on the jour­ney.

No agents and ex­porters have been se­lected yet but the or­gan­is­ers ex­pect their in­ter­est to be­come ap­par­ent in due course.

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