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Australian Cattle Council : Yearbook 2010
48 YEARBOOK 2010 CATTLE COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA Reforms to the 2.6 million hectare Stock Route Network continued, as AgForce lobbied the State government and environmental groups to preserve Queensland's stock route network to secure fair and appropriate access. The proposed changes to this system include greater environmental protection systems represent wider change in Queensland politics since the last election. Ensuring that common sense and economic prudence overcomes the emotive claims of the green lobby is now simply a core part of the ongoing work of ag lobby groups in Queensland. National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) is now well entrenched in the practices of most producers in Queensland but in an effort to ensure all tools and rules are well understood, AgForce facilitated nine NLIS workshops. However, we also recognise that the system is not perfect and have pushed for Government, MLA and NLIS manufacturers to improve the standard of tags, tag retention benchmarks and investigations for the 'next generation' of NLIS devices. Continual improvement and adoption of new tools is crucial to maintain our lead over other countries. Our industry's superior biosecurity, traceability and environmental production has been vital as AgForce has supported Cattle Council of Australia's work on food policies. It remains vital for industry to argue at state and federal levels for beef labelling regulations and food safety rules to be based on science and cost effective systems. From BSE to Genetically Modified Organisms; eating quality or Country of Origin, making sure we have policies in place which do not detract from our industry will continue to be an Agforce Cattle board focus. One of the most important 2009 industry policy debates was emissions trading or the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS). AgForce has worked with CCA and MLA to successfully argue against crippling inclusion under emissions trading schemes by pushing for economic reviews, better science, cooperation with International Federation of Agricultural Producers members and a direct cattle producer voice at the Copenhagen climate forum. By working actively with state agencies and MLA and by communicating to both consumers and government, we have ensured that our industry has for now avoided such a major cost. As the largest beef state and with the largest area of productive grazing areas, AgForce's work with our diverse member base is vital. Open forums held in the last 18 months in Gayndah, Longreach, Brisbane and Calliope attracted more than 1300 producers, facilitating strong information sharing. When adding the many branch meetings held over the year, and innumerable member phone calls, AgForce Cattle board have been effective in listening to the largest and most diverse group of producers to push their ideas to all levels of industry, government and media. AgForce has continued to voice Queensland producers' concerns on national and international issues through the Cattle Council of Australia and remains committed to the crucial work of our Peak Body. Grant Maudsley AgForce Cattle President Cattle Council Councillor