LEVY BEEF: Members of the Richmond River Beef Producers Association will meet next week to discuss a recent Senate Inquiry into the beef industry.
LEVY BEEF: Members of the Richmond River Beef Producers Association will meet next week to discuss a recent Senate Inquiry into the beef industry. The Northern Star

Steaks are high as farmers’ battle sales levy

CATTLE producers on the Northern Rivers have a beef with a levy they say costs $60 million a year but that they see little benefit from.

Kyogle farmer Brian Creedy said the Federal Government had taken the levy as a tax on sales since the 1990s.

"If I sell 20 calves at the sales yard, $100 is taken out," he said.

"That money goes to the Meat and Livestock Association, who spend it on research and development and marketing.

"But, as a cattle producer, I have no say on how it is spent and receive little benefit from it.

At the same time, he said, sales prices last year were below what they were in the 1980s.

Mr Creedy and other beef cattle producers from the Richmond River Beef Producers Association will be holding a meeting next week to discuss a recent Senate Inquiry into the use of the levy.

Keynote speakers will be the Chief Executive Officer of the Cattle Council of Australia, Jed Matz and Executive Officer of the Australian Beef Association, David Byard.

Mr Creedy said the Cattle Council is supposed to represent producers but currently has no access to the level money and is not elected by levy payers.

"The Senate Inquiry has recommended the establishment of a new grass-fed, levy-funded, Cattle Corporation with a board of directors directly elected by cattle producer levy payers."

The meeting will provide an open forum for local producers to engage with the speakers in a question and answer session.