Downer backs local meat processing for Kangaroo Island

15 Oct 2018

Regulations must be relaxed to enable the establishment of local meat processing on Kangaroo Island, enabling local farmers to receive better farm gate prices while also adding to the Island’s local food and wine offering for tourists.

Liberal candidate for Mayo Georgina Downer said she would work with the Marshall Government to help re-establish Kangaroo Island’s capacity to process locally-produced livestock.

“Primary production and tourism are the main drivers of the Island’s economy and complement each other in many ways,” Ms Downer said.

“The Island already has a great reputation for quality food like locally-produced honey and seafood. Unfortunately, there are regulations in place which make it difficult for the Island’s lamb and beef producers to cash in on this reputation.

“Processing on the mainland adds significantly to costs, reducing farm gate prices for local producers.

“Tourism has moved towards experiences which immerse visitors in everything a destination has to offer, and with which the destination uniquely identifies: nature, culture, history, adventure and – of course – food and wine.

“The prime lamb industry on Kangaroo Island alone is worth upwards of $25 million to the local economy and it should be part of the local tourism experience as well.

“There are all sorts of reasons to make it easier for local lamb and beef farmers to process and add value to their product on the Island itself – enhancing the Island’s reputation, improving the tourism experience and contributing more to the economy and their own bottom lines.

“I’ll work with the Marshall Government to create a much easier environment for local meat processing on Kangaroo Island.

“One of the strengths of primary production across the Mayo electorate is the potential for significant value adding. Realising this potential requires a coordinated strategic approach to land use, roads, transport and infrastructure, sustainability, market access, natural resource management and environmental management.

“This will be a key priority for me if I’m elected.”