A SEA of green met Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk as she arrived at Beef 2018 in Rockhampton this evening, with graziers banding together to protest against vegetation management laws.
Hundreds of land holders wearing green shirts chanted “Palaszczuk go away” as she entered the official welcome event at the Rockhampton Showgrounds.
While expressing his gratitude to all levels of government for their support of the event, Beef Australia Chairman Blair Angus gave the Premier a subtle ribbing in his opening address.
“This is an industry that is strong, this is an industry that is proud and it's an industry with world leading reputation, our culture our custodianship and our passion are on display here in spades,” Mr Angus said.
“The last couple of weeks have highlighted a lack of communication between our industry and your government, we need to fix that.”
Ms Palaszczuk was met with a luke-warm response as she pledged her support for the industry, and said she would look at increasing the state’s $500,000 funding for the next Beef Week.
“The reason that I'm here is because the beef industry is very important to trade across the globe, and also too we're proud to put in money to help showcase that to the rest of the world,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“I make that commitment here today, we have doubled our commitment from the previous three years and that was because I met with the board three years ago and you told me how important this was to you.
“So my commitment to you here tonight is that we will look at increasing our funding for this, for the next event.
“This is the first time as Premier that I have come here, I want to show my support for Rockhampton and for the industry.”
Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud was met with applause when he acknowledged LNP Leader Deb Frecklington for her party’s fight against the controversial vegetation management laws.
“Can I also acknowledge my good friend and LNP Opposition leader Deb Frecklington and her team and for the passionate fight that her and her team put up last week for the beef industry,” Mr Littleproud said.
He praised the Beef Australia board, the Mayor and volunteers for their work in putting on the event, before thanking the graziers for their custodianship of the land.
“We produce the most environmentally and ethically profound beef in the world, our custodianship of our land is surpassed by nobody,” he said.
“We are the greatest environmental custodians of our land because we have to be, because our profits and losses are intrinsically tied to the health of our land.”