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Sheepmeat Council : Sheepmeat 2013
SHEEPMEAT COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA ANNUAL MUSTER 2013 39 AgForce Queensland The past 12 months have seen a number of changes within AgForce Queensland’s management structure, with newly appointed CEO Charles Burke commencing in October 2012; and current General President Ian Burnett and a number of newly elected State Councilors taking up positions in November. Similarly, there was a change in State Government with the now Premier Campbell Newman's Liberal National Party successful in gaining power after successive terms of Labor administration. Agriculture has been identified by the State Government as being one of the four pillars of the Queensland economy, and since this announcement, AgForce has recognized a much greater emphasis from the current government on maintaining open and strong communication channels between government and industry. AgForce's Sheep & Wool Board serves as the voice of the Queensland sheep industry and continues to direct the State Government to ensure investment in education and training, research, development and extension to Queensland's sheep and wool producers. Likewise, a close working relationship with the State Government's animal welfare regulators is maintained to ensure the development of practical Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines. Furthermore, AgForce continues with media communications regarding Queensland's livestock producer's positive animal welfare outcomes to end consumers; and provides a voice of reason in response to alarmist claims of extreme animal activist groups. Throughout the year AgForce Sheep & Wool has also campaigned heavily on behalf of sheep producers for a practical, cost effective implementation of the National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) for both the sheep and goat industries. AgForce continues to support a robust, paper-based system of animal identification to ensure that high-cost electronic systems are not prematurely enforced on industry. Wild dogs continue to be one of the greatest imposts upon the Queensland grazing industry, and remains at the fore-front of most sheep producers' minds. In April/May 2013, AgForce embarked upon a sweeping awareness campaign of North Queensland to educate landholders and regional shire councils about the importance of a coordinated approach to wild dog control management. Known as "Wild Dog Week", these events drew participants from across the region and provided information and skill development that will prove invaluable in the war against wild dogs. Jointly funded by Meat & Livestock Australia and Australian Wool Innovation, "Wild Dog Week" became recognised nationally; and during the campaign the Queensland Government committed $700,000 in grant funding to regional local governments and wild dog advisory syndicates to assist in wild dog control. AgForce has also been managing three wild dog education programs funded by AWI. With the support from Biosecurity Queensland, the "Trapping Schools" project has been very well received through-out South-west Queensland with over 200 participants from 9 workshops; whilst "Predator Control Days" have been held in the South-east. AWI have also funded AgForce's "Wild Dog Coordinator" project which, in the past 12 months, has seen the enhanced coordination of 14 local government areas and their wild dog committees to conduct aerial baiting campaigns to link neighbouring shires. AgForce will continue to promote these educational programs, which will no doubt have a positive effect on wild dog control. For further information www.agforceqld.org.au