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Address, in opening the Blacktown N.S.W. plant of F.J. Walker Ltd



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PRIMARY INDUSTRY M EDIA RELEASE

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STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER FOR PRIMARY INDUSTRY THE RT. HON. IAN SINCLAIR M.P.

CANBERRA

29TH JUNE 1979

ADDRESS BY THE RT. HON. IAN SINCLAIR, MINISTER FOR PRIMARY INDUSTRY, IN OPENING THE BLACKTOWN N.S.W. PLANT OF F.J. WALKER LTD., AT 12 NOON ON FRIDAY 29TH JUNE 1979.______________ _______ _

THE MEAT INDUSTRY IN A U S T R A L I A IS OF COURSE NOT J U S T ' C A T T L E , SHEEP

LAMES AMD P ICS GRAZ IMG ON LUSH P A S T U R E S . .

IT IS A COMPLEX INDUSTRY I ' -' VOLV IN 0 AN I N T E R R E L A T I O N S H I P BETWEEN PRI MARY AMD SECONDARY SECTORS W I T H H A N D L I N G AND TRANSPORT A C T I V I T I E S WHICH ARE V I T A L IN ENSURI NG THE R E T E N T I O N OF Q U A L I T Y

OF THE P E R I S H A B L E PRODUCT BEFORE SUPPLY TO CONSUMERS CHETHEP IN A U S T R A L I A OR ABROAD. .

F . J . 'TALKER L T D . W I T H I T S TOTAL INVOLVEMENT IN THE INDUSTRY

REPRESENTS EVFRY SECTOR o p THE MEAT C H A I M . , .·

C A T T L E PRODUCTION ON P R O P E R T I E S IN QUEENSLAND AN'D THE 'NORTHERN T E RR I T O R Y , F E E DLOTT IMG IN NEW SOUTH V A L E S , P ROCE SSING , '"HOLESAI IMG R E T A I L I N G AND D I S T R I B U T I O N ARE ALL IMPORTANT IN I T S COMMERCIAL

A C T I V I T I E S . ■

TODAY I T IS THE H I P D T H I R D LARGEST MEAT PROCESSOR IN A U S T R A L I A ,

ACCOUNTING FOR ABOUT o PER CENT OF A U S T R A L I A ’ S MEAT EXPORTS.

IT WAS ONE OF THE MAJOR COMP A M I ES INVOLVED IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF OUR BEEF MARKETS IN JAPAN AND THE US A .

THE COMPANY OF COURSE IS STRONGLY BASED IN BOTH QUEENSLAND AMD NEW SOUTH WA LES. '

IT O PE R A T E S SEVEN MEATV'ORKS STRETCH I NO FROM C A I R N S IN THE NORTH BUT ALSO AT T O V N S V I L L E , R I L O E L A a\ ;d MARYBOROUGH IN QUEENSLAND AMD BYRON BAY AND ABERDEEN IN NEW SOUTH WA LE S.

-IN THE 1 . R 7 7 / 7 P YEAR, THE COMPANY 'MAS R E S P O N S I B L E FOP S L A UGHTERI NG SOME F I V E PER CENT OF THE T OTAL C A T T LE K I L L E D IN A U S T R A L I A .

A PRODUCT OF THE EXTE NT OF I T S O P E R A T I ON S IS THE E M P H A S I S ON T H I S

NEW BLACKTOWN PL A N T WHICH I UNDERSTAND PROCESSES Q U A L I T Y BEEF FROM THE ABERDEEN AND BYRON RAY WORKS TO PRODUCE P R E D OMI NA NTLY BEEF P A T T I E S . .....................

THE P A T T I E S THEMSELV ES I L L U S T R A T E ANOTHER PARTOF THE COMPLEX I T Y OF THE MEAT C H A I M . '

2 .

F . J . W A L K E R , I AM T O L D I S T H E S OL E S U P P L I E R OF HAMBURGER P A T T I E S T O M C D O N A L D S ’ R E S T A U R A N T S T H R O U H G O U T A U S T R A L I A . I T AL SO E X P O R T S T O MC D ON A L D O U T L E T S T H R O U G H O U T S O U T H - E A S T A S I A .

T H E P A T T I E I S 1 0 0 PER C E N T B E E F . T H E A T T E N T I O N G I V E N T O ME A T S T A N D A R D S AND P R O C E S S I N G S P E C I F I C A T I O N S , E S P E C I A L L Y I N R E G A R D T O F A T C O N T E N T , W E I G H T AND S I Z E , I U N D E R S T A N D E N S U R E S T H E Q U A L I T Y OF T H E MC D ON A L D H A M B U R G E R . . .

I T I S A P R O D U C T OF T H E GROWTH OF F . J . W A L K E R ’ S P R O D U C T I O N AND D I S T R I B U T I O N A C T I V I T I E S W H I C H HAS L E D T O T H E E S T A B L I S H M E N T OF T H I S NEW L A R G E P R O D U C T I O N AND WARE H OU S C O MP L E X I N B L A C K T O W N .

T O AN E V E N G R E A T E R D E G R E E , I S U S P E C T T O D A Y ’ S O P E N I N G I A A R E F L E C T I O N OF T H E T O T A L V E R T I C A L I N T E G R A T I O N OF T H E C O M P A N Y .

G E N E R A L L Y , A U S T R A L I A ’ S MA R K E T P O S I T I O N I N T H E ME A T I N D U S T R Y I S MORE- S E C U R E T O D A Y T H A N E V E R B E F O R E . ■ '

T H A T T H I S I S SO R E F L E C T S S T R E N U O U S E F F O R T S BY G O V E R N M E N T ,

T H E A U S T R A L I A N M E A T AND L I V E S T O C K C O R P O R A T I O N AND ME A T E X P O R T E R S .

AT T H E G O V E R N M E N T L E V E L , T H E R E HAS BEEN A D E T E R M I N E D D R I V E T O REMOV E T H E P O L I T I C A L B A R R I E R S A G A I N S T A C C E S S .

AT T H E L E V E L OF T H E A . M . L . C . AND T H E E X P O R T E R , T H E R E HAS BEEN A C O N C E N T R A T I O N ON Q U A L I T Y , ON S E R V I C I N G T H E C U S T O M E R S ’ R E Q U I R E M E N T S AMD. I N M E E T I N G S C H E D U L E D C O N T R A C T U A L O B L I G A T I O N S .

AS A R E S U L T OF T H E - J O I N T E F F O R T T O D A Y C E R T A I N A C C E S S AT P A Y A B L E P R I C E S I N T O M A R K E T S I N T H E U N I T E D S T A T E S , J A P A N , K O R E A , S O U T H ­

E A S T A S I A , · T H E M I D D L E E A S T AMD E V E N , T O A L I M I T E D D E G R E E , I N T O E U R O P E . ■ .

T H E E X P O R T MA R K E T C O N T I N U E S T O BE OF MJOR I M P O R T A N C E T O T H E B E E F I N D U S T R Y . -

H O WE V E R , E Q U A L L Y I M P O R T A N T I S T H E A U S T R A L I A N D O M E S T I C C O N S U M E R .

IN L I N E W I T H H I G H E R S A L E Y A R D P R I C E S FOR C A T T L E , R E T A I L B E E F P R I C E S H A V E R I S E N S U B S T A N T I A L L Y .

H O WE V E R , A F T E R A L L O W I N G FOR I N F L A T I O N , R E T A I L B E E F P R I C E S ARE C U R R E N T L Y ONLY S L I G H T L Y ABOVE T H E L E V E L S T H A T WOUL D HAVE E X I S T E D HAD T H E Y F O L L O W E D T H E T R E N D OF T H E G E N E R A L L E V E L OF I N F L A T I O N AS R E F L E C T E D I N T H E C P I OVER T H E P A S T S I X Y E A R S .

T H I S DOE S NOT MEAN T H A T C O N S U M E R S ARE C O M P L A C E N T ABOUT WUCH P R I C E M O V E M E N T S .

I T D O E S MEAN T H A T T H E R E H A V E BEEN MORE S I G N I F I C A N T MO V E ME N T S I N OT H E R I T E M S OF D O M E S T I C C O N S U M P T I O N AND I N P R I C E R E L A T I V I T Y T E R M S , MOST H O U S E W I V E S T O D A Y A P P R E C I A T E T H A T ME A T I S S T I L L A GOOD B U Y .

AS A R E S U L T , D O M E S T I C DEMAND T H I S Y E A R , W H I L E I T MAY F A L L BELOW T H A T OF T H E Y E A R S OF V E R Y LOW P R I C E S , I S S T I L L E X P E C T E D T O BE SUCH AS T O BE V E R Y I M P O R T A N T I N T H E O V E R A L L M A R K E T I N G OF

A U S T R A L I A N M E A T .

3 .

WI T HOU T D E V EL O PI NG THE CASE T H I S MORN I NC, THERE A R E OF COURSE SOME WORRYING MARKET TRENDS P A R T I C U L A R L Y THE PROPOSAL FOR C O U N T E R - C Y C L I C A L L E G I S L A T I O N IN THE U N I T E D ST A T E S CONGRESS.

THE FE DER AL GOVERNMENT IS. NOT COMPLACENT ABOUT T H I S MOVE.

I NDE ED , I T WOULD SEE AMY ACCEPTANCE BY THE U N I T E D ST ATES

A D M I N I S T R A T I O N OF QUOTA L I M I T A T I O N S BELOV·' THE AGREED MTN L E V E L AS B E I N G Q U I T E CONTRARY TO THE B I L A T E R A L MTN AGREEMENT

ENTERED INTO BY THE U N I T E D ST A T E S AMD A U S T R A L I A . ■

AS A RE S UL T OF .

P MPROVED MARKET C O N D I T I O N S THERE HAS BEEN COMMENT AS TO THE A B I L I T Y OF A U S T R A L I A N PRODUCERS TO MEET

DEMAND.

C A T T L E NUMBERS AT 31 MARCH' 1 0 7 ° WERE 2 C . 3 5 M I L L I O N , A DECREASE OF

3 . 4 PER CENT FROM ΤΗ E 1 0 7 3 L E V E L AMD THE LOWEST L E V E L S I N C E

1 9 7 1 .

SHEEP AND LAMB NUMBERS AT 3 1 MARCH 1 0 7 9 WERE 1 3 5 . 1 4 M I L L I O N ,

A R I S E OF ? . 3 # OVER THE P R E V I O U S Y E A R .

THE R I S E REVERSED A THREE YEAR D E C L I N E BUT CURRENT L E V E L S ARE

S T I L L WELL BELOW THE RECORD NUMBER OF I B O . l M I L L I O N IN n ? n .

C A T T L E AND C A L F SLAUGHTER INGS IN 197 °· WERE 1 2 . 3 5 M I L L I ON HEAD,

A 2 PER CENT D E C L I N E FROM THE P R E V I O U S YEAR BUT S T I L L H I G H WHEN .

COMPARED W I T H L E V E L S E A R L I E R IN THE 1 ? 7 Π ’ 5 .

FOR EX AM PL E, THE AVERAGE BETWEEN 1 0 7 3 AND 1 0 7 5 WAS 3 . 1 3 M I L L I O N . s

IN THE F I R S T FOUR MONTHS OF 1 9 7 0 , THE RE DU CT I ON |V ADULT C A T T L E

SLAUGHTER INGS WAS FOUR PER CENT, ’WITH D E C L I N E S OF 3 2 PER CENT IN

V I C T O R I A AND FOUR PER CENT IN NEW SOUTH W A L E S . B E IMG LA RG E L Y .

OFF SE T BY A R I S E IN QUEENSLAND OF o n PER CENT .

IT IS VERY D I F F I C U L T TO EST ΙΜΛΕΤΕ HOW MUCH LONGER' HI GH

S L A UG HT E RI NG L E V E L S W I L L C O N T I N U E . HOWEVER I T DOSES SEEM THAT

C O N F I D E N C E IS RE T U R N I N G TO THE BEEF I NDUSTRY AND AS A RES UL T THERE .

MAY WELL SOON BE AM END TO THE R U N - D O W N OF THE A U S T R A L I A N HERD.

THERE ARE OF COURSE ALSO GE N E R A L L Y F AV O UR A BL E SEASONAL C O N D I T I O N S WHICH MUST BE 'TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT.

IN THE C I R C U M S T A N C E S , I T IS L I K E L Y T H A T B R E E D I N G PERCENTAGES

W I L L BE HI GH ER THAN NORMAL G I V I N G GE N E R A L L Y A GREATER. INDUSTRY

C A P A C I T Y TO MEET ENHANCED DEMAND.

I DO NOT B E L I E V E TH AT THE INDUSTRY W I L L BECOME OVERPRODUCED IN

.THE NEAR F UT UR E , HOWEVER, AS I T D I D IN THE M I D 1 9 7 0 ’ S .

OTHER P R I M A R Y I N D U S T R I E S ARE ALS'.' SHA RI NG A S I G N I F I C A N T L I FT

IN P R O F I T A B I L I T Y TODAY U N L I K E THE C O N D I T I O N S T HA T THEN P R E V A I L E D .

L E T ME ALSO SAY T HA T PRODUCERS G EN E RA L L Y ARE BY NO MEANS AT .

PRESENT E N J O Y I N G EXCESS P R O F I T A B I L I T Y . ·

W H I t E I T IS TRUE Ί Λ Μ Î¥ ARE MOW PENEF I T T IMG FROM . S I G N I F I C A N T L Y HI GHER RETURNS THESE NEED TO BE MEASURED A G A I N S T ' F O U R YEARS OF S I G N I F I C A N T P R I C E DEPRESS I O·1.

4 .

P R O D U C E R S OVER T H I S P E R I O D HAVE F O R E G O N E P R O P E R T Y M A I N T E N A N C E AND MOST H A V E A C C R U E D S I G N I F I C A N T D E B T .

I T I S L I KE l Y T H A T AT L E A S T T WE L V E MORE MO N T H S OF R E A S O N A B L E P R O F I T A B I L I T Y W I L L BE N E C E S S A R Y B E F O R E A U S T R A L I A W I D E S O L V E N C Y OF T H E C A T T L E I N D U S T R Y CAN BE R E - E S T A B L I S H E D .

T H E R E ARE TWO P A R T I C U L A R P O L I C Y I S S U E S T H A T I WOULD L I K E T O S P E A K ON T H I S M O R N I N G .

ON T H E Q U E S T I O N OF L I V E S T O C K L E V I E S ,

S E E M I N G L Y T H E R E I S AM I M M I N E N T C O N F R O N T A T I O N B E T WE E N T H E ME MB E R S OF T H E A U S T R A L I A N M E A T E X P O R T E R S F E D E R A L C O U N C I L , A G E N T S "ARID P R O D U C E R S OVER T H E T E R M S OF A U C T I O N S A L E S . .

A G E N T S AND P R O D U C E R S B E L I E V E ' T H E R E I S A C A P A C I T Y FOR ME A T .

B U Y E R S T O A L L OW, WH E T H E R I N P R I C E S R I D AT A U C T I O N OR I N P R I C E S D E MA N D E D F ROM C O N S U M E R S , A L L C O S T S B E T WE E N T H E F A R M Y A R D GA T E AND T H E H O U S E W I F E . . '

I N T H E S E C I R C U M S T A N C E S , T H E A S S E R T I O N BY T H E AMEEC T H A T L E V I E S S H O U L D BE D E D U C T E D FROM P R O C E E D S P A I D FOR ST OCK AT A U C T I O N N E E D S T O BE V I E W E D W I T H SOME C O N C E R N .

C E R T A I N L Y , T H E R E W I L L BE A S I G N I F I C A N T I N C R E A S E I N L I V E S T O C K S L A U G H T E R L E V I E S FROM T H E 1 ST J U L Y .

T H E I N C R E A S E I S R E G R E T T A B L Y S T E E P HOWEVER T H E NEW C H A R G E S S T I L L R E P R E S E N T ON L Y H A L F OF T H E C O S T OF P R O V I D I N G N E C E S S A R Y E X P O R T I N S P E C T I O N S E R V I C E S AND ONL Y P A R T OF Τ Η E D I S E A S E E R A D I C A T I O N C O S T TO· T H E C O M M O N W E A L T H .

I N C O N D I T I O N S OF I N D U S T R Y P R O F I T A B I L I T Y , I DO NOT B E L I E V E I T U N R E A S O N A B L E T H A T T H E I N D U S T R Y B E A R S I T S P A R T OF T H E S E C O S T S W I T H T H E CHAR GE T O T H E T A X P A Y E R B E I N G R E D U C E D A C C O R D I N G L Y .

L E G A L L Y , P A Y M E N T OF T H E L E V I E S W I L L BE BY T H E OWNER OF T H E ST OCK AT T H E T I M E OF S L A U G H T E R .

T H E L E V Y R A T E S W I L L V A R Y A C C O R D I N G L Y T O WH E T H E R T H E ST OCK ARE S OL D AT E X P O R T OR D O M E S T I C WORKS AND BY W E I G H T W I T H I N C A T E G O R I E S OF B OBBY C A L V E S , C A L V E S AND GROWN S T O C K .

S E P A R A T E C H A R G E S ARE A L S O T O BE L E V I E D FOR S H E E P AND P I G S .

I N E A R L I E R L E V Y L E G I S L A T I O N , T H E R E WAS A P A S S B A C K P R O V I S I O N .

E X P E R I E N C E WAS T H A T , I N SOME C A S E S , S T OC K C H A N G E D H A N D S B E T WE E N T H E F I R S T O C C A S I O N WHEN P U R C H A S E D AT A U C T I O N FOR S L A U G H T E R AND T H E T I M E WHEN U L T I M A T E L Y A L A U G H T E R E D T H E R E B Y I N C U R R I N G P A Y M E N T OF T H E L E V Y MORE T H A N O N C E .

A D D I T I O N A L L Y , T H E R E WERE A B U S E S BY SOME U N S C R U P U L O U S O P E R A T O R S WHO P O C K E T E D T H E L E V Y I N T H E C OURS E OF S U B S E Q U E N T R E - S A L E .

T H E L E G A L B A S I S HAS T H E R E F O R E BEEN D E L I B E R A T E L Y I N C L U D E D I N T H E L E G I S L A T I O N I N I T S P R E S E N T F O R M .

5 .

Ψ

ν-Η I L F I T I f ; T R U E T H A T T H E E X P O R T E R f f A :" Γ Λ · ' Τ Ε Κ ! ! I ' A C ; V I T R A C T U A ! .

A R R A N G E M E N T ' I T H E I T H E R P R O D U C E R OP S T O C K Λ ·.·: D S T AT I O'"1' AG E O T

ON A NY E L F M E ’' ! T OF T H E C ->' ! D I T I ' V- i S OF S A L E , I B E L I E V E I T WO U L D

RE I N ' N O R O D Y ’ 0 I N T E R E S T OT D I S R U P T T H E A U C T I O N f f : L U o o S Y S T E M I N

A U S T R A L I A . I'M T H E M A N N E R T H A T SOME F E A R F R O M T H E ' A N N O U N C E D

I N T E M T I o o OF T H E A M E F C . . .

■ L E T ME C O N C L U D E ON" T H I S ' I S S U E B Y R E P E A T I N G ONCE' " AG A I M . T H A T .

I P R E S P F C T I V F OF A N Y A R R A N G E M E N T S T H A T M I G H T B E ' Y O L U ' I T AR I L Y OR

C O N T R A C T U A L L Y E N T E R E D I N T O , T H E G O V E R N M E N T W I L L RE A C T I N G I N

A C C O R D A N C E . V I T H T H E L E G I S L A T I O N AMD C L A I M I N G P A Y M E N T OF T H E

. L E V Y F R O M T H E P E R S O N V H O OWNS T H E S T O C K A T T H E T I M E OF. S L A U G H T E R .

AN/ OT HE R M A T T E R OF ' SOME C O N T R O V E R S Y I S T H E M A T T E R OF L I V E S T O C K

E X P O R T S . . ■ ;

A T A T I M E WHEN M A N Y M E A T W O R K S H A V E B E E N F O R C E D T O R E D U C E ' T H E I P

K I L L , t H R O U G H U N A V A I L A B I L I T Y O F S T O C K , T H E R E I S A - C O N C E R N T H A T

. T H E I R M I G H T B E A R E A C T I O N A G A I N S T T H E L I V E S T O C K - ' E X P O R T T R A D E . .

I B E L I E V E L I V E S T O C K E X P O R T I N G H A S B E E N S | 0 N I F I C A M T L Y . T , 0 T H E ..

A D V A N T A G E OF A U S T R A L I A N M E A T E X P O R T I N G . . . . .

T H E R E L A T I V I T Y B E T W E E N C A R C A S S AND L. I V E S T O C K ' D E M A N D ' I N ' . T H E M I D D L E

E A S T WA S E F F E C T I V E L Y A N A L Y S E D BY T H E R E P O R T P R O D U C E D : B Y ?-R f i F B F T

M I L L E R , D I R E C T O R OF T H E B U R E A U OF A G R I C U L T U R A L ; E ( : O M O M , I C S . ■

A L T H O U G H I T H E R E I S C O N C E R N A B O U T P O S S I B L E I M M I N E N T R E D U C E D .

E M P L O Y M E N T I N SOME M E A T W O R K S , I ' - O U R ! ) H O P E T i l A T T H I S D O E S N O T

G E N E R A T E I N D U S T R I A L f l C T T O N ' A G A I N S T L I V E S T O C K E X P O R T S . .

WE R E T H I S T O H A P P E N , AMD DUR A B I L I T Y T O S U P P L Y L I V E S H E E P A N D L I V E

C A T T L E T O E X P O R T M A R K E T S D I M I N I S H E D , T H E R E '·â–  I G H T - WE L L P E A.

C O N T R A C T I O N I N . M A R K E T O P P O R T U N I T I E S F O R ' C A R C A S S . . ME A T · . ' ' \ . .

F R OM S U C H A R E D U C T I O N , T H E R E '.-'OUL.D PE A D E ' OM. STR ABLE ' ; LOSS TO EXPORTERS, MEAT WORKS AMD PRODUCERS, AS ' ELL AS - OF··'COURSE, TO AUSTRAL IA AS A WHOLE. - '

TO ALL OF THOSE OF YOU WHO ARE THE WORKERS P T H I S BLACKTWON

P L A N T , L E T ME EXTEND MY C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S . . .. W .

THE 'PLANT IS A PRODUCT OF MODERN DESIGN AND S O P H I S T I C A T E D TECH NO LOGY. .

WORKING C O N D I T I O N S ARE S I G N I F I C A N T L Y BETTER : AS AW R ^S U L T. '

THE B E N E F I T OF T H I S FLOWS BOTH. IN A BETTER V'0RK ING EUVI RONMENT

'FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO W I L L BE SPENDI NG SO '"'ANY HOURS W I T H I N THE PL A N T AND C E R T A I N M EE T I N G OF THE - DUALI TY · OF STANDARDS DEMONSTRATED BY YOUR CUSTOMERS. . V

IT IS T H I S C O M B I N A T I O N OF A T T R I B U T E S ! AM C O N F I D E N T : !.

W I L L LEA D TO THE C O N T I N U I N G E F F E C T I V E N E S S OF F . J . WALKER L T D .

AS A MAJOR FORCE IN THE A U S T R A L I A N MEAT INDUSTRY., '