House debates

Thursday, 20 September 2018

Constituency Statements

Lyne Electorate: Red Meat Industry

10:09 am

Photo of David GillespieDavid Gillespie (Lyne, National Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I rise to alert the House to the importance of red meat and the red meat industry, not only to the national diet but to the Lyne electorate, and also to the red meat industry's benefit to the local and national economy. I'd also like to correct some myths about the nutritional value of red meat. Red meat is one of the biggest sources of nine essential nutrients, as well as the obvious protein load. There are lots of myths about the amount of saturated fat in red meat. Trimmed meat, particularly grass fed meat, has only four per cent saturated fat. The nine essential nutrients are iron, everyone knows about iron, but red meat is one of the biggest sources of iron; zinc; vitamin B12; omega-3 fatty acids, the beneficial sort; protein; and multiple members of the B group of vitamins. It also improves satiety, physical strength, wellbeing and children's concentration when they're well fed with some protein rather than a diet rich in highly processed carbohydrates.

The national economy benefits from the thousands and thousands of workers in the processing of red meat. In my electorate of Lyne we have many beef producers, north and south, east and west. We have cattle sales operating out of Gloucester, Taree, Maitland, Nabiac and Kempsey. We have transport and livestock haulage, and we have two large processing centres. Wingham Beef Exports has 370 direct employees on-site every day, when they're working and also has a host of other subcontractors and transporters. Meltique Beef in Wauchope has 70 full-time staff and many subcontractors. It provides a lot of transport workers with their employment.

The red-meat industry is a huge national industry which should be championed. Not only does it feed the nation but it is healthy, as I mentioned. There are lots of people who get a very distorted view of the benefits of red meat. Diet is best sourced from multiple sources. We need to have vegetables, carbohydrates, fish and nuts as well, but the red-meat industry and red meat in the Australian diet do improve growth and development, and all those essential nutrients that get concentrated by the animals as they graze on grass are a great benefit to developing minds, strong bones, strong muscles. Red meat shouldn't be denigrated anyway. As I said, the ancient Greeks pointed out: moderation in all things. (Time expired)