The call from AMIC CEO Patrick Hutchinson came after the South Australian Government pledged AU$7.5m in support to its local red meat industry.
AMIC said it welcomed the move from the regional government, which will help to support the growth, productivity and biosecurity of the state’s local red meat manufacturing industry.
Hutchinson said the red meat supply chain in the country was “straining to breaking point” and if wider government support was not provided, the red meat manufacturing industry could face the same fate as many of its defunct manufacturing industries.
It said the post-farmgate-to-plate red meat manufacturing industry contributed around AU$21 billion to Australia’s GDP and was Australia’s largest agriculture exporter, generating AU$16bn in income.
Australian farmers have been facing some of the worst droughts in its history and there have been flooding in the state of Queensland.
“While we have seen the worst drought in living memory and recent catastrophic floods in Queensland, which have affected one part of the supply chain, the devastation has reverberated along the full length of the red meat supply chain, affecting many processors, small goods manufacturers and independent butchers, many of whom are small business owners in regional and rural Australia,” said Hutchinson.
“In addition, they are facing further droughts of their own – a drought of workers caused by an unfit visa system, a lack of relief from non-tariff barriers to export markets, excessive operating costs such as energy and an increasing red-tape burden.”
AMIC will be presenting a report to cross-parties within the Federal Government this week and calling for the excessive red tape cost burden to be cut.