Nationals Whip says 150,000 jobs are at risk in meat industry crisis
The Nationals Whip in the Senate, John Williams, who met key industry players in Canberra last week, said the meat processing industry was reaching crisis point, with more than 150,000 jobs at risk, compared with about 50,000 in the struggling car industry.
Senator Williams said he was not calling for a government bailout similar to the car industry, but a "full and urgent" inquiry was needed.
"We need to look at the cost structure of the whole beef industry," he said. "In the past 15 years the number of abattoirs [in NSW] has gone from 15 to nine, five of those are wholly or partially foreign owned, and of the four that are locally owned, three of those are on the market. The industry is doing it really really tough."