Mr PERRETT (Gympie—LNP) (2.00 pm): Last week’s Beef Week was an outstanding success. A record crowd of 150,000 people consumed 63 tonnes of beef. Its footprint was 20 per cent larger than ever, and 1,400 stud cattle and 350 trade cattle were housed in four stud sheds. The industry’s depth was demonstrated with 4,980 cattle entered across three competitions and $3.64 million worth of cattle sold, setting a record top price and sale total. As a grazier, I was proud to see my industry on show. It was disappointing that the Premier and the entourage of ministers and MPs were like a bunch of misfits. They are trying to cloak themselves in a mantle of reflective glory from Beef Week’s success. They talk up and think a $1 million commitment to Beef Week gazumps the contribution of everyone else there. Yet again, the federal government contributed much more.
Beef Week’s success is due to the efforts of the organisers, workers, farmers, graziers, exhibitors, the industries and businesses that support them, the attendance of rural and regional people, the Queensland and interstate schoolchildren who enter competitions and the city of Rockhampton. It is telling that the Premier and government members think proceeding to the front row like royalty connected them with the people there. Three years ago they were fly-in fly-out attendees who arrived under the cover of darkness. It is arrogant, it is ignorant and it is pretentious. Rural people are naturally polite. They do not think much of that behaviour. They see you coming a mile off.
This week the Premier smirked as she tried to claim no-one from the LNP was there. I was there and I did not need to sit in the front row. I did not seek acknowledgement and I was more than happy to sit with the 99.9 per cent of the rest of crowd, to talk with them in the bars and at their stands, to catch up and to mix it with them. This gives one an appreciation of the scale of the beef supply chain—from on the farm, to the jobs it generates in the abattoirs, those who sell and cook it to the grateful consumers.
I watched the reaction of those around me to the Premier’s speech. The speech of federal agriculture minister, David Littleproud, made much more sense and was more relevant to the industry. This week Queensland’s agriculture minister embarrassingly thought that wearing a tie and tabling a newspaper with his own image on it is supporting the industry. It is embarrassing that it was tabled for no other reason than his photograph was on the front page. Producers still remember that the minister supported his Senate colleague, then minister Ludwig, in decimating the live cattle industry. Beef Week provides a valuable chance to talk and engage directly with the people connected with the industry