Lively Q&A session at Jamestown Show

Kangaroos, wild dogs and livestock exports were among topics at a Q&A forum conducted for the first time at the Jamestown Show on Monday.

Star panellist at the session was federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud who opened the show earlier in the day.

The show is a strong promoter of wool and sheep and had a two-day format for the second consecutive year.

The Supreme Champion Fleece was shown by HMV and JD Dalla while the Heiniger Northern Ag Ram of The Year was from Greenfields Merino and Poll Merino Stud (Robert Sullivan).

Mr Littleproud told the audience in the Big Shed that he had grown up in Chinchilla, Queensland, and had lived all his life in his electorate.

“We are feeding and clothing not only Australia, but almost the rest of the world,” he said in his rousing speech.

He said he came from a show society background, having been secretary of the Inglewood event.

“This is about your community being proud of what you do today,” he said.

Mr Littleproud took part in the Q&A session on agricultural and regional transport issues. Other panellists included Primary Producers SA executive chairman Rob Kerin, Australian Wool Innovation chief executive Stuart McCullough, Grey MP Rowan Ramsey and Meat Livestock Australia board member Andrew Michael, Dog Fence Board member Christobel Treloar and Southern Australian Meat Research Council SA chairwoman Jane Kellock.

In response to a question, Mr Littleproud said the federal government would not halt live trade of sheep and cattle bound for overseas.

But he said “you don’t treat animals” in the way that he had seen on footage of a recent voyage where livestock was mistreated.

“It is a cultural problem for the industry and my department,” he said.

Mr Michael said Australia had the best animal welfare practices, in most aspects, of anywhere in the world.

To another question, Mr Ramsey said he backed the sealing of the Strezlecki Track for truck shipments and that the federal government was interested in helping to fund the project.

“This would be one of the best routes in Australia,” he said. “There are so many points to tick along the way.”

A questioner complained about “thousands” of kangaroos in a “tsunami” eating “everything we have”.

Mr Littleproud said there were 45 million kangaroos and skins were worth only a dollar each.

He said two sport footwear companies had pulled out of using kangaroo hide for their shoes after California had mistakenly listed the kangaroo as an endangered species with rhinoceros and cheetah.

Earlier, Jamestown Agricultural, Horticultural and Floricultural Society president David Cooper inducted new life members Neville Gibb and Simon Seppelt.

Last year’s Rural Ambassador Matt Hagger introduced this season’s representative Hayward Paynter, of Jamestown.

The Big Shed was a popular destination with the AWI Fashion Parades hosted by star guest Catriona Rowntree.

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