In 2014, then Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce initiated a Senate Inquiry into Industry structures and systems governing levies on grass-fed cattle. The inquiry went on to raise concerns that under the Cattle Council of Australia’s (CCA), State Farm Organisation (SFO) based model, the majority of Australian cattle producers, who did not pay SFO membership fees, had little to no say in how their levies were spent – or who represented their interests at industry level. A restructure was proposed and a number of disparate grass-fed cattle representative organisations united to form the Implementation Committee to establish a new grass-fed representative model.
The agreed restructure announced in February 2015 with the blessing of the then Minister for Agriculture was based upon a board directly elected by grass-fed levy-paying members. Those members would be elected from 15 Policy Advisory Councillors from 15 cattle producing Regions across Australia.
The IC Mission Statement:
To establish a truly representative advocacy body for Australia’s grass-fed cattle producers in accord with the recommendations from both the 2014 Senate Inquiry into Industry structures and systems governing levies on grass-fed cattle and the 2017 Senate Inquiry into the Effect of market Consolidation on the red meat processing sector.
Interim Board Directors
Interim Board Directors of Cattle Producers Australia are members of the Implementation Committee
Dr Paul Wright
Chair of the Cattle Producers Australia Implementation Committee
Paul Wright and his wife Marina own and manage beef properties in the Taroom area in Queensland. Paul has been an active member of the Australian Meat Producers Group established as a think tank to seek a better deal for the Australian cattle farmer. He has been a committee member of the Cattle Australia Implementation Committee since it was established in 2015.
Paul holds a Bachelor of Veterinary Science degree from the University of Queensland and has a particular interest in beef cattle breeding and production along with performance horse breeding, medicine and use.
Paul established his own veterinary practice in Taroom and acquired properties around the Taroom district moving into cattle breeding and beef production. Paul and his wife Marina now run about 1500 to 2000 cattle in a breeding/finishing operation on approximately 17000 acres.
Paul became heavily involved in the Brucellosis and tuberculosis eradication Program (BTEC) at both the clinical level and at the administrative level for fifteen years continuously. He was appointed as a cattle industry representative on a ‘core group’ of MAC BTEC, where he was responsible for the development and review of Approved Property Programs across Queensland. It was the function of this group to analyse the disease eradication programme implications of Approved Property Programs on cattle producers and to investigate the financial impacts and other difficulties encountered by landholders, advising the Minister of the problems and possible solutions. Read more!
Ernie Camp is a fourth generation Gulf of Carpentaria resident. He owns a breeding and fattening property on the black soil plains just South of Burketown where he lives with his wife and children – one of whom desires to become the next generation working in the Gulf country. Aside from his grazier’s hat and his membership of various industry representative bodies he also wears the Mayoral hat for Burke Shire. He has been involved in local government for the past 18 years – with the last 10 being in either a Mayoral or Deputy Mayoral capacity. Through this experience he brings extensive knowledge about governance and accountability, finance, stakeholder engagement and is also experienced at advocating for his constituents and engaging with corporate, governmental department and political stakeholders at a regional, state and federal political level. He is also Chair of the regional development board -Gulf Savannah Development and has been appointed by State Government as a member on the Riversleigh Community and Scientific Advisory Committee and North West Minerals Province Stakeholder Reference Group and the Federal Government as a member of the Isa Superbasin Users Panel.
Loretta is a fourth generation beef and lamb producer in the north east of Victoria and is founding Chair of the Into Our Hands Community Foundation since 2012. She is secretary on the Ovens Valley Branch of the Victorian Farmers Federation. After graduating with a degree in Business Management Loretta held a management position at a local meat processing plant which resulted in a position on the inaugural Board of the Australian Meat Processor Corporation. Her community involvement has included a position of Chair of the Mudgegonga and District Landcare Group for five years, CFA and CWA. Loretta was a Community Advisory Committee member of the Victorian Bushfire Appeals Fund in 2011; received a National Emergency Medal after the 2009 Victorian bushfires; a finalist in the Bluescope Leadership and Innovation Award at the Regional Achievement and Community Awards and received a Victorian Women’s Governance Scholarship to undertake the Australian Institute of Company Directors Course and in 2013 was presented a Paul Harris Fellow Award.
Mr Norman Hunt
Company Secretary and Implementation Committee Member
Norman Hunt is the founder of the Sydney based law firm Hunt Partners Lawyers Pty Lid and practices in Commercial , Litigation and Agr-Business Law. Norman was reared on a sheep and cattle property in the northwest of NSW, educated at an Agriculture Boarding School at Tamworth in Northern NSW and owned and operated a mixed sheep cattle and irrigation property south west of Mungindi on the NSW Queensland border in the late 1960’s and early1970’’s. Norman then attended the University of NSW Law School graduating with a double law degree being awarded an LLB and a Batchelor degree in Jurisprudence in the late 1970’s receiving the University Prize in Jurisprudence in his final year. Norman was actively involved in the red meat industry organisational reforms in the 1990’s that led to the formation of the current red meat industry organisational structures and currently owns a small cattle producing hobby farm on the Southern Highlands of NSW.
Implementation Committee Members
Jock Douglas AO
A pastoralist and horticulturalist from Roma, Queensland Jock Douglas has had a lifetime in the cattle industry in Queensland’s Maranoa district with involvement in cattle breeding, trading, fattening, backgrounding and retail butchering. In horticulture he has been engaged in pioneering the commercialising of a native citrus species, the desert lime, establishing an orchard of 2,500 trees and marketing with on-line sales of trees, fruit, and conserves to Australian and EU customers. He is currently engaged in commercialising his selection of the pasture legume desmanthus which he named Cowpower™ because of its resilience and capacity to be spread through pastures by cattle. He was involved in beef cattle industry representation during the 1970s and 1980s culminating in being elected President of the Cattlemen’s Union of Australia for three successive years and was a member of the executive of both the National Farmers’ Federation and the Cattle Council of Australia. He represented NFF and the cattle industry on the Australian Exotic Diseases Sub-Committee which designed the action plans for preventing and dealing with exotic disease incursions. While President of the Cattlemen’s Union he had a prominent leadership role in the genesis of Landcare.
Other representative roles include:
1992-96 Chairman of the Queensland Landcare Council
1992-96 Chairman State Assessment Panel (National Landcare Program)
1993-97 Member of the National Landcare Advisory Council
1994-95 Member of the Prime Minister’s Land Management Task Force
1995-98 Member, Board of Management, Rural Extension Centre, University of Qld 1998-2002 Chair, Board of Management, Rural Extension Centre, University of Qld
1998-2002 Member, CSIRO Land and Water Sector Advisory Committee
2002- 2007 Member Queensland Food and Fibre, Science and Innovation Council
2000 – 2007 Founding Chair, Board of Directors, Australian Landcare Management System Ltd.
1999 – 2007 Founding President, Roma Bush Gardens Association Inc.
Rob Atkinson is a 5th generation beef producer, married to Donna with 2 adult children, Rob recently purchased a property near Goomeri, Queensland and is primarily a grass-fed cow/calf producer. Rob is current Chair of North Beef Inc., a group of Western Queensland producers and supporters keen to have a beef processing plant established in the Central West. Rob was a Chairman of Hughenden Branch of Agforce for 3 years and Chair of the Isaac River Branch of the Cattleman’s Union for 3 years and Chair of the Local Parent and Citizen at Middlemount school. Rob is passionate about the beef industry and agri politics and his son is also following in his farming footsteps recently purchasing a property in Taroom.
Phil Keevers moved to Kyogle in 2012 to achieve a dream of his family returning to the land. Phil is a Director of Border Region Financial Services P/L a Corporate Authorised representative of Elders Financial Planning. For the last 25 years, Phil has spent his time driving computers and cars as a Financial Advisor. Phil is President of the Richmond River Beef Producers Association working with local producers on issues that affect them. Phil was also a Past President and former Director of the Tweed River Agricultural Society Ltd, a Past President of Group 1, The North Coast Group of Shows, a Past Grand Master of a Friendly Society and currently a Grand Secretary. While always interested in things rural, the first twelve years of his working life were spent as a Stock and Station Agent in Western Queensland, with a few intervening years in various roles. I have learnt a great deal about agriculture but have so much more to learn.
Joanne Rea is Chair of Property Rights Australia
Cameron McIntyre is CEO of McIntyre Cattle Company, Central Queensland cattle producer and co-founder of the Australian Meat Producers Group.
Barry Hughes is President and Founder of the Gulf Cattleman’s Association and served on the Etheridge Shire Council for nine years and held the position of Deputy Mayor during his last 3 year term. Whilst in this position Barry chaired the Premier’s Taskforce for the development of the Gilbert River Irrigation Scheme. Barry represented the northern cattle industry on a wide and varied platform of advocacy and promotion. Barry has judged Brahman cattle at a premier livestock event in Thailand as well as representing the Australian Brahman Breeders Association at the World Brahman Congress event held in Fort Worth Texas. Barry worked closely with colleague Rob Atkinson and former Deputy Prime Minister and Federal Agricultural Minister Barnaby Joyce to bring about changes to how the major agri business institutions were doing business with the beef industry in the wake of the live export debacle and was elected to the Deputy Prime Minister’s Taskforce to help formulate a national set of protocols pertaining to receivership and forced sales of agricultural businesses by banks and other lending institutions. Barry is currently putting the finishing touches to the Noeline Ikin Foundation in conjunction with Etheridge Shire Council and the Northern Gulf Resources Management Group that will provide education pathways for young people from our industry to pursue higher levels of involvement with our industry as well as governance and leadership across community. Barry has represented community and industry alike on many committees as well as serving in an advisory capacity to organisations such as the Northern Gulf Resource Management Group.