A GROUP of beef producers has taken the initiative to hold a Beef Crisis Summit in Richmond on May 7.
People and politicians are invited to come together to seek sustainable solutions and a way forward through the dire set of circumstances facing the northern beef industry.
Richmond mayor John Wharton expects up to 300 people to attend the meeting.
"There is a steering committee that has been formed right across the north-west, from Boulia to Georgetown, to Cloncurry and Hughenden.
"The live export industry is what's killing us at the moment; it's not just the drought.
"But to get down to the nitty gritty and for long term change, we have the change the Federal Government's policies."
Hughenden grazier, Rob Atkinson agrees.
Mr Atkinson says the summit has to try and reduce the rate of the Australian dollar.
"You can't have industries going broke and people going into receivership and have the industry survive in the future.
"We have to get politicians to understand there are ways to make our Australian dollar less attractive."
Kelsey Neilson from Two Rivers Station, Boulia, said industry tried to warn the Gillard government and animal activists that the suspension of the live export trade could potentially create the worst animal welfare issue ever witnessed in Australia.
“Condemning the entire trade based on an isolated incident beyond our shores and immersed in the fervour of their misguided campaign; activists and politicians turned their faces away and covered their ears when we tried to bring them back to earth to face reality,” she said.
“That reality is now upon us.
“We knew that you could not simply halt the massive beef production systems of northern Australia overnight.
“The decimation of the live export trade to Indonesia has seen a build-up of cattle numbers in the north as last year’s cattle and this year’s stack up on each other with nowhere to go and nature's hand swings the death blow by delivering the most severe widespread failure of the summer wet season in living memory.”
She said dry conditions are forcing record numbers onto the market and collapsing prices.
“With no agistment available and the cost of trucking cattle to market greater than the returns, little or no pasture remaining in the paddock, severely diminished cashflow threatening the capacity of producers to purchase fodder and supplements the beef industry is in crisis.”
She said the entire Australian beef industry needs to be concerned and involved in the issue of what's happening in the north.
Please RSVP to Amy Russell on 07 4741 3277 by Thursday 2 May 2013 for catering and accommodation purposes.