Rabobank Beef Industry Awards Dinner

Prime Minister

It’s such a pleasure to be with you here tonight. Thank you to the sponsors who’ve made this event possible, and, of course, the producers who give us such cause to celebrate.

If Beef Week showcases the best beef on the planet to the rest of the world, tonight shines a light on the very best of the best.

I have to say I don’t envy the judges. When the quality is this high across the board, none of them are having an easy time.

For those who didn’t make shortlist this year, may tonight offer that little bit of extra inspiration for 2025.

Everyone who is here tonight has shown the scale of their commitment to this industry. Through good times and the more challenging times, you have all walked the talk.

The result is there for everyone to see and, importantly, to taste.

What you produce matters at our kitchen tables – literally. You’re in our homes. You nourish us. You are a part of Australian family life.

We know it’s anything but easy. What you do calls on an extraordinary range of talents. It demands patience and perseverance. It needs you to be able to think quickly on your feet, but also to plan for the long term with clear eyes.

It requires what are sometimes almost superhuman energy levels, all of it held together with sheer strength of character. And every step you take, you are carefully and painstakingly navigating your way towards reward through a minefield of risk.

As much as we are here to celebrate the world-beating standard of what you produce, what we are ultimately here to celebrate is you.

Day in, day out, you show what commitment truly is. You deserve nothing less than a government that is every bit as committed to you.

A government that has your back. A government that listens to you.

A government that instinctively understands just how significant your industry is not just to Australia economically, but to our agricultural reputation internationally – a reputation that has been carefully built and nurtured over generations.

With 70 per cent of Australian beef leaving our shores, one of the keys to my Government’s commitment to you is biosecurity.

Since the outbreak of foot and mouth disease in Indonesia, the Government has provided significant assistance to Indonesia, Timor-Leste, and Papua New Guinea, including 4 million doses of FMD vaccine to Indonesia.

Meanwhile, implementation of the National Lumpy Skin Disease Action Plan released in late 2022 is on track.

Another crucial key is improving and strengthening Australia’s international trade relations.

China is vital, and we are making great progress in resolving agricultural issues and getting fully loaded ships once again leaving Australian ports for China.

There is of course still work to be done – and we are getting on with it.

The Australia-UK Free trade Agreement is already yielding dividends. In the six months leading up to January, beef exports to Britain leapt 411 per cent compared to the same period the year before.

And we have worked hard to recommence live cattle trade with Indonesia and Malaysia. It’s work we’re backing with an investment of $8.8 million over two years.

What we have found along the way doesn’t count as a major revelation – the greatest successes are achieved when government works closely and constructively with your industry.

It is an industry in which all Australians can take pride.

Australian beef is a byword for quality, which is why there is always a place for it on plates across our country and far beyond our shores.

My Government will always work to make it easier for you to be your very best.

Congratulations to all the winners and the nominees tonight.

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