Territory Stories

Year in review 2016-2017, Northern Territory Cattlemen's Association



Year in review 2016-2017, Northern Territory Cattlemen's Association


Northern Territory Cattlemen's Association yearbook; Reports; PublicationNT




Made available via the Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT).




Livestock -- Northern Territory -- Periodicals; Beef cattle -- Northern Territory -- Periodicals; Ranches -- Northern Territory -- Periodicals

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Northern Territory Cattlemen's Association

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Katherine Branch Report As I sit down to write this report the sun is trying to break through the cloud and misty rain, the creek is about twenty meters from my doorstep, which is causing some concern but not panic, as we have fixed the boat which somehow got a hole in it while sitting on a trailer for the dry season. These weather conditions are a continuation of a fantastic wet which has been an exclamation mark on what was a solid 2016. Prices remained strong whilst property values were, and continue to be, positive. Among other things 2016 saw a change of government in the NT, Indian buffalo meat made its presence felt in Indonesia, a strengthening of China as an export market and rain in QLD; which caused prices to rise as re-stockers went toe to toe with processors. For mind the most challenging topic which was on the radar but intensified with the speed of a developing cyclone was hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. While we have all been aware of the impending influence fracking would have on both conversations and working practices; I for one underestimated the emotional stress that would envelop the pastoral industry. There are experts on both sides, there are those in the middle who are not sure, and there are lobbyist who claim to know the answers. In reality I do not believe that anyone could claim to have all of the answers at the present time. When considering all of the recent contentious issues and threats which have influenced our industry and our organisation I do not believe anything has had the potential to be as divisive as the debate around fracking. The definition of divisive is tending to cause disagreement or hostility between people. Fracking is definitely that, and is potentially decimating. unlike other issues such as the live export ban where everyone in the northern industry agreed that the practice needed to exist, the only disagreements that occurred were around how to achieve this and what methods should be put in place to guarantee longevity. There is not the same consensus or certainty with fracking. I draw a parallel to those employed by mining companies who also have families to feed, not dissimilar to the pastoralist in 2011. Agree or disagree with the concept, these people cant be forgotten nor should they be attacked personally. That sentiment needs to also be remembered in our industry. I cannot remember a time when a pastoralist would publicly attack compatriots with such venom, in what could only be defined as personal and hurtful. Hurtful to both the parties concerned but also our industry and the NTCA. It is acceptable to have a personal opinion but not personal attacks. For the first time I found myself caught defending a company that I have dedicated my working career to, an industry I love and an association that I have the utmost respect for. However these attacks werent coming from outsiders but from within those entities and directed at each other. I soon realised how emotive fracking could be and how divisive. Pastoralist who were working within the parameters afforded to them to negotiate the best deal possible in their particular enterprise somehow became the target of cheap shots from external and internal entities. Without wanting to sound like a broken record once again I find myself imploring members to avoid infighting but instead attend meetings and voice an opinion or pick up the phone and talk to your representatives or the staff of the NTCA. I reiterate that the longer I sit on the NTCA board the more I realise the dedication required and the passion that those who are fortunate to represent have for our industry and the association. The board has debated this issue for endless hours and will continue to do so striving to represent the NTCA members as professionally as possible. So I sit here before still not knowing all of the answers only knowing that I can guarantee that the board continues to have members best interests at heart. That no one is influenced or conflicted by an outside influence. We dont always agree on issues, which is healthy, but we do agree that we want our industry to be here for the very long term. I have witnessed the anguish which comes with desperately wanting to make the best decision on behalf of those who elected you. With that in mind I would like to thank Tom Stockwell, the Board and the NTCA staff who have worked tirelessly representing our industry, at times under extreme duress. Finally to the members of Katherine, once again thank you for allowing me to represent you at a board level. Jak Andrews 108 NTCA YEAR IN REVIEW 2016/17

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