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Speech at the Greenham Dairy scholarship presentation: Port Melbourne.



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The Hon Warren Truss MP MINISTER FOR TRADE DEPUTY LEADER OF THE NATIONALS

Speech at the Greenham Dairy

Scholarship Presentation 14 March 2007, Port Melbourne

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen

It is my great pleasure to be here for today’s presentation.

Innovative companies like Greenham have played a significant part in the success of Australia’s beef industry.

Australia produces two million tonnes of beef and veal each year, with close to half of this amount produced for export markets, which was worth around $4.7 billion in 2005. Australia is the second-largest exporter of beef in the world after Brazil. Our beef is internationally recognised for being of the highest quality, and produced in a clean, natural environment. We also boast a competitive advantage as a result of advanced farm management, breeding, strict quality assurance systems and processing techniques.

Companies like Greenham are showing the way forward - both as industry innovators and exporters. Greenham’s Tongala High Efficiency Abattoirs are nationwide leaders in productivity - one of the reasons the company has been able to secure lucrative, high-profile clients such as Burger King in the US.

I understand Burger King has purchased all of Greenham’s grinding meat production since July 1997.

As a result of their outstanding success, Greenham has grown in scale to employ 250 locals at both the high efficiency plants in Tongala. The company has also worked hard to be a part of the local community by providing income to local livestock suppliers - mostly dairy farmers - and by

sponsoring numerous sporting and charitable organisations throughout the district.

The Greenham Dairy Scholarship is an example of Greenham’s commitment to the people of the Goulburn Valley and Northern Irrigation Areas.

Established in 2000, the scholarship provides $10,000 to assist in undertaking formal study relating to the dairy industry. It is open to immediate family members and employees of anyone who has sold cattle to the Tongala abattoir in the previous 12 months.

The selection criteria includes:

• how the applicant will use the money to improve his or her skills and knowledge; • the importance of the scholarship to them in realising their ambitions; • potential benefits to the dairy industry or farm enterprise; and • previous academic, industry and/or personal achievements.

The winner is selected by an independent panel representing the education, community and dairy sectors.

Conclusion

In communities right across regional Australia, where exporter numbers are growing at three times the rate of their metropolitan counterparts, companies like Greenham are helping to build economic health and prosperity. The presentation of today’s scholarship exemplifies this important contribution.

The winner of the 2007 Greenham Dairy Scholarship is a young man who is an outstanding student, aspiring engineer and an important part of his family’s dairy business. He will use the scholarship to complete studies in engineering at Melbourne University, with a goal of applying his qualifications to improving farming systems and equipment and to improving irrigation practices in dairy farming - maximising the efficient use of water to keep farms productive and prospering.

I would now like to present the 2007 Greenham Dairy Scholarship to Ross Lister from Calivil

With the bush continuing to fight against the worst drought on record, talented young people like Ross Lister can play an important role in building future prosperity in regional Australia.

Ross Lister - would you please come forward.

[PRESENT AWARD]