Hogan attacks Greens over cattle
Norco and Meatworks would suffer
THE idea that cattle farming doesn’t belong in Australia and should be replaced with kangaroo farming has been slammed as an “extreme” notion which risks 6000 local jobs.
Greens candidate for the federal seat of Page Daniel Reid shared a link on Facebook to an article titled “Eat locals: swapping sheep and cows for kangaroos and camels could help our environment”.
The article by Deakin University ecologist Euan Ritchie argued that eating “fewer sheep and cows, and more kangaroos, feral animals, and insects” was good for the environment, because of the degradation intensive livestock farming had arguably done to much of the Australian landscape.
“The days of riding and relying on the sheep’s back, cattle’s hoof, or the more recent, and increasingly popular, chicken’s wing, may need to pass,” Ritchie wrote.
In a statement Nationals Page MP Kevin Hogan attacked the idea as “out of touch”, saying it would destroy the livelihoods of local beef and dairy farmers and cost 6000 jobs.
“The jobs of more than 1200 people at the Casino Meatworks would be lost, the 850 jobs at Norco would be lost and the income of our cattle farmers would be decimated,” Mr Hogan said.
“Agriculture, dominated by cattle and dairy, directly employ more than 6000 people across our community.
“Even more indirect jobs would be lost and many local businesses dependent on the dairy and cattle industry would be forced to close their doors.”
Mr Reid defended his post in a statement saying it was “intended to stimulate conversation around sustainable agriculture in this country”.
“The drought has been horrendous for all of us especially those who had to face not being able to feed their livestock and keep their breeding lines,” he said.
“Sustainable animal agriculture plays a vital role in the Northern Rivers community.
“The Greens have a strong policy on sustainable agriculture.”
Meanwhile, Greens candidate for the state seat of Lismore Sue Higginson described Mr Hogan’s comments against the Greens as a “low ball”.
She said she had done her bit to help livestock farmers suffering in the drought.
“The irony for me is while Mr Hogan is taking aim at a Facebook comment made by my colleague, today I am sending the first 64 of 250 round bales of stock feed to Werris Creek.”
A dry land rice farmer, Ms Higginson said she usually let her paddocks fallow over winter but this season decided to plant a crop of triticale (a hybrid of wheat and rye) for stock feed specifically for drought relief in the west.
“The Greens have stood by farmers in the face of coal mine, coal seam gas and drought, and we are fighting harder than any party for action on climate change to benefit our agricultural sector.”
According to ABS figures cited by Mr Hogan, beef contributes more than $135 million to the local economy and makes up 66% of the agricultural production in Kyogle local government area.
Last year Norco recorded almost $1 billion of sales.
Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan is joined by the Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack and Acting CEO of Norco Greg McNamara to announce an expansion worth $10s of millions for the Norco Ice-cream Facility in Lismore.