FEDERAL minister for Calare John Cobb says if elected the opposition will ramp up Australian livestock export with Indonesia following a trip to the country with opposition leader Tony Abbott and his deputy Julie Bishop.
The trio travelled to Indonesia earlier this week and met at length with senior cattle industry representatives and inspected Indonesian cattle supply chains.
Throughout the trip the visiting members of the coalition witnessed half full feed bins and near empty pens, the same pens that were once full with Australian cattle in a thriving industry.
Mr Cobb said the lack of Australian beef exported to Indonesia hurt not only our farmers, but the Indonesians as well.
Indonesian communities rely on local feedlots and imported Australian cattle for employment.
“Our government should be (in Indonesia) on a consistent basis. We will be,” Mr Cobb, the shadow minister for agriculture said.
“The leader of the opposition, Julie Bishop, myself, we’re the only members of the federal parliament to have been on the ground over there.
“They were very pleased to hear Tony Abbott say, if elected, we would be looking to get cattle numbers back up. They want a lot more trade with us. Our cattle suits them.
“Indonesia is a big part of our future.”
Cobb said beefing up Indonesia’s cattle stocks was about helping out one of our largest neighbours.
“Indonesia wants to be self sufficient, but with a quarter of a billion people that’s going to take a long time,” he said.
“In the mean time, one of the ways we can help them is by giving them our cattle. It’ll then give their cattle’s breeding stocks an opportunity to expand.”