Hogan picks a beef with union over live cattle claim

PAGE MP Kevin Hogan has rejected union claims an expansion of live cattle exports would threaten jobs at Casino's Northern Cooperative Meat Company.

Grant Courtney of the Australasian Meat Industry Employees Union said plans to expand live exports would significantly jeopardise the Casino facility and the broader local economy.

"Mr Hogan's support for the live animal export industry calls into question his commitment to the people of Page," he said.

"With over 1000 local jobs on the line, Mr Hogan has turned his back on the electorate in a clear case of conflict of interest and voters have every right to question where their localmember's loyalties truly are.

"Is the Member for Page committed to strengthening his electorate or has he fallen to the narrow interests of an industry that contributes nothing to the broader community he is supposed to represent?"

Mr Hogan hit back by saying the live export market was specific to northern Australia out of Darwin.

"The beef cattle market locally is not geared to live exports. The live export market, therefore, does not impact on local meatworks jobs," he said.

Mr Hogan reminded meat workers that Joel Fitzgibbon, Labor's Shadow Minister for Agricultural, also supports live exports.

"Therefore the Australasian Meat Industry Employees Union need to call on Labor to stop supporting live export as well," he said.

"The live export market is concentrated in the northern area of Australia. It is impossible to muster cattle in the northern part of Australia during the wet season. These cattle are breed specifically for live export.

"When live export was banned these cattle could not be sold overseas and depressed the cattle market for years."