Sunday, January 1, 2012

Ludwig shown to be a fool, toeing the line

There's a repeat of the 60 Minutes program "Doing it Tough", about the cattle farmers  who have been damaged by the decision of the Australian Government to suspend cattle exports to Indonesia earlier this year.

This exchange between Joe Ludwig and the reporter is telling.
TARA BROWN: The Government’s decision to slap a ban on the live export trade to Indonesia stranded hundreds of thousands of cattle across the top end and left farmers here fighting for their very existence. It came out of the blue and it couldn’t have come at a worse time. Now this latest back flip to lift the ban might sound good in Canberra – problem solved – but for the industry, the damage has already been done. You’ve crippled a billion-dollar industry, you’ve offended a major trading partner, you’ve stranded nearly 300,000 cattle across the Top End of Australia. You’ve really stuffed up, haven’t you?

JOE LUDWIG: What I’ve done is put in place a framework which ensures the industry for the longer term. What industry did was let itself down itself – a self-regulatory model didn’t work, unfortunately.

TARA BROWN: The Agriculture Minister, Senator Joe Ludwig says he had to act, and he has, demanding exporters know where and how their cattle die in Indonesia. While the ban has been lifted, no cattle will leave until exporters can prove that. In the meantime, cattle farmers – who are not accused of mistreating their animals – are left in dire straits, the collateral damage of his decision. So all those families struggling today let themselves down?

JOE LUDWIG: What we’ve ensured is that we’ve got a system in place now now which ensures this industry has a longer term.

TARA BROWN: Sorry, I’m sorry, did you hear the question? The question was all those families up there struggling today have let themselves down?

JOE LUDWIG: No I’m talking about industry, the industry that represents them.

TARA BROWN: Do you believe that most Australian cattle are treated in that way in Indonesia?

JOE LUDWIG: What I believe is what I’ve done is appropriate. 
TARA BROWN: Yeah but I’m asking you…

JOE LUDWIG: …Just in terms of the suspension… 
TARA BROWN: No, no no, I’m just asking you, do you believe that most Australian cattle are treated in that way in Indonesia?

JOE LUDWIG: And the way I’ve answered that…

TARA BROWN: Can you answer it, I mean just answer the question.

JOE LUDWIG: And I have.

TARA BROWN: No you haven’t. Do you believe that the majority of Australian cattle going to Indonesia were treated in this way? 


TARA BROWN: Simple question. 

JOE LUDWIG: The difficulty always is that can you guarantee that no animals weren’t mistreated.
Note this statement which was regurgitated repeatedly by Ludwing in answer to the questions from Tara Brown on what the ban had done to the Australian cattle farmers in northern Australia:
What I’ve done is put in place a framework which ensures the industry for the longer term.
And with hindsight, and in light of the decision by the Indonesian government to cut imports of live cattle from Australia, Ludwig's sustainable live export framework into the future seems to have been made out of string, spit and knee jerk*.

The complete item which appeared on 60 Minutes in July 2011 is here.

Weekly Times "Beef ban signals end for Bullo River Station".

For Sale: Bullo River Station. So, how good will it be for Australia if the Chinese or the Indonesians buy the cattle properties forced to sell by the losses caused by the government's kneejerk cattle export ban?

The ALP is totally unaware of any business and how they work. It seems that they have no concept of what is involved, particularly in a rural type business.

Steve at the Pub mentioned the Darwin episode of QandA. Here's the quote, and a link.
DAVID TOLLNER: Look, there was a major disservice done to the industry, a major disservice. The fact is this industry has evolved over a long period of time. The cattle that are bred in the Northern Territory and right across Australia, for that matter, are brought up in world class conditions. People genuinely care about their cattle. When they're put on the ships to go to Indonesia, we've now got a mortality rate lower than that on P&O cruises.
DAVID TOLLNER: Cattle are putting on weight. I mean, you ask Luke Bowen. You ask Ian McBean, the gentleman who asked the question. Cattle are putting on weight.
TONY JONES: You wouldn't go on a P&O cruise to end up in an Indonesian abattoir
DAVID TOLLNER: No. No. No. Well, no, no.
TONY JONES: Let’s hear from...
DAVID TOLLNER: Hang on. No. No. Let me finish. Let me finish. Then the cattle end up in a feedlot. These feedlot - there’s been enormous investment put into those feedlots. They are first class luxury as far as cattle are concerned in Indonesia.
FIONA O'LOUGHLIN: Sounds like they're having a blast!
DAVID TOLLNER: But we focus on the last two minutes of a beast's life and for that the whole trade has got to be shut down. As a result of that...
TONY JONES: Well if it were only...

Q&A Darwin link.

*Did anyone expect anything else?

(Sorry about the formatting if there are big spaces between paragraphs, but every time you go into the post to change or add anything it seems to change the spacing. And the formatting of the Q7A quote won't change when I fix it. Arrgh!)


stackja1945 said...

Joe is New ALP they are clueless.

Anonymous said...

kae, this sort of thing comes about because we have ex union officials with no real life or business experience elected to parliament, who then become ministers.

They still harbour the old feeling that the employers are always wrong and can afford any losses.

Mark A

kae said...


The ban on live cattle exports to Indonesia was a stupid reaction with no forethought and Ludwig was called a fool for the damage it would do to Australian graziers who rely on these exports for their businesses.

News that Indonesia is going to cut back on live cattle imports from Australia was briefly covered then seemed to be subsumed by other "news".

The live cattle industry will be hit for six by this, though it seems that this result is the desired one by Greens and bunny huggers without a clue as to how people live in other countries and what type of infrastructure they have and the need for live meat imports into these countries.

Better that humans suffer than any beast or tree.

The denizens of the ALP in the main have no experience in buisiness, or even the real world, and I wonder how they manage to conduct their own lives without finding themselves in the poor house - although on the taxpayer teat (or union member teat, depending on whether the ALP member has risen to parliament or is just pretending until they get the "job for the boys"), seems to provide them with an endless supply of lucre to waste and they seem to be hell bent on keeping that source of income open, and to hell with Australia and Australians.

Skeeter said...

Their ABC is still boasting that they fixed* the evil cattle industry with their 4-Corners programme.
The ABC must certainly take the credit for starting that fix, because the fixed* cattle industry would still be thriving if the "exposé" had not been broadcast.

*Readers can replace "fixed" with another "f" word of their choice.

Steve at the Pub said...

From what I know of Joe Ludwig, that transcript pretty much captures his intellectual capacity.

And the man is a barrister! (Okay, okay, not a "real" barrister, as straight out of law school he became a barrister for his daddy's trade union! Nobody else - especially someone using their own money - has ever instructed him to act for them.)

The Live-Export industry hasn't been restarted, and won't restart. A (very) few cattle have been exported, however the latest announcement by the Indonesian govt is that the most they will take is half the number they used to. This announcement is effectively Indonesian law.

Not only must the government wear blame, but every journalist, activist, AND organisation who had a hand in it.

I've already had the pleasure of giving an earful to, & seeing off, an RSPCA can-rattler.

For another puzzling response, see the QandA episode shot late last year in Darwin. One of the panellists (I think the NT opposition leader) stated that cattle deaths at sea on live export ships are at a lower rate than the death rate at sea of P&O cruise line passengers.

Inexplicably (to me) Tony Jones became quite dark at this, & announced that there'd be "none of this sort of talk" on his show.

Is it that he is so unprofessional that he is unable to allow an objective panel discussion on a 4corners topic that his wife worked on? But it seemed more than that. As if it was blasphemy to challenge his conventional wisdom of: "live export, bad - banning live export, good"

I thought the "P&O" observation was a corker, a very effective one liner.

I used to think Tony Jones was a biased but well-meaning lightweight who didn't know any better.
I now think he is of malignant character, and it is repugnant that he holds Australian citizenship that he does not deserve.

Anonymous said...

I used to think Tony Jones was a biased but well-meaning lightweight who didn't know any better.

Steve at the Pub
You must be decent trusting man.

All I can say is. "never underestimate your opponents!"

If they act against you, it's very likely done on purpose not out of ignorance

Steve at the Pub said...

Er... when describing Tony Jones I was trying to find a diplomatic way of saying "commo dumbarse".

Please don't hold it against me.