Will Rocky lose its Beef Capital Crown?
Will Rocky lose its Beef Capital Crown? Contributed

Rockhampton meatworks 'to lose 3 months of work'

A COMPULSORY Shoalwater Bay land acquisition threatens to steal Rockhampton's title of Beef Capital with prime land and 100,000 cattle potentially affected.

The Federal Government's plan to take prime agricultural land from graziers in the Marlborough region could lead to Casino taking over our title and the loss of scores of jobs, Member for Keppel Brittany Lauga said.

"Casino has been knocking on the door to steal our title, and if the Federal Government's compulsory land acquisition to expand Shoalwater Bay defence precinct takes in prime land along with 100,000 head, we would all be the losers,” Mrs Lauga said.

"Beef cattle has driven our economy with two meatworks, international exports and thousands of direct and indirect jobs.

"We have rightly earned the title Beef Capital of Australia.

"But Casino has been trying to steal that title from us and the Federal Government is preparing to hand it to them on a platter by resuming prime grazing land and some 100,000 head with its compulsory acquisition.”

Mrs Lauga has called a public rally calling on the Federal Government to stop the land grab and the impact on people's livelihoods in the Marlborough district, saying the halt would save scores of jobs for meatworkers and those businesses in the local agriculture sector.

The rally will feature Marlborough landholders and business owners, workers, unions, State Agriculture Minister Bill Byrne MP and local Labor Members Brittany Lauga MP and Jim Pearce MP standing united against the bullish takeover of nearly 50 properties - including prime grazing land.

"Putting aside the lost jobs and services in the Marlborough region alone, one local meat processing company tells me that the loss of at least 100,000 head of cattle to the local supply chain is equivalent to at least three months' work, and scores of jobs at our local meatworks.

"We are the Beef Capital of Australia, yet the Federal Government is prepared to sell us out at the expense of hundreds of local jobs with the subsequent, and significant, cost to service companies associated with local agriculture.”

Mrs Lauga said the rally on Wednesday 1 February at 5pm at the Lakes Creek Hotel would also call for answers not just waiting another four weeks as the Federal Government insists while jobs and livelihoods are being threatened.

Event details

  • What: Rally against land take-over
  • When: Wednesday 1 February at 5pm
  • Where: Lakes Creek Hotel