Article – Northern Territory cattle trucked thousands of kilometres south to Victoria for better prices

10 July 2015
Daniel Fitzgerald
ABC Rural

High domestic cattle prices are making it viable for Top End pastoralists to send their heavier stock all the way to Victoria.

Cattle from Kalala Station, near Daly Waters, have been trucked over 3,000 kilometres to meatworks in Warrnambool.

Amanda Murphy, from Kalala Station, said the price offered in Victoria made the cost of the long distance freight worthwhile.

“We’re just chasing the market. At the moment that’s the best and the place to go,” Ms Murphy said.

“We have previously gone to Townsville, but at the moment [the abattoir in Warrnambool] is giving us a good deal and a good price, so everyone wants to chase the market and get the best for their cattle and that’s what we are doing.”

Mrs Murphy said the cattle sent to Victoria were not suitable for live export.

“We’re sending fat cows and old bulls and anything that’s heavy enough to Victoria,” Ms Murphy said.

“You still need to get rid of fat old cows and fat old bulls, so that’s the best place to send them at the moment.”

Kalala Station also runs a contract cattle trucking business, which Ms Murphy said had transported cattle from other Top End stations to meatworks in southern states.

“We have done a few trips for other clients, so that is the way a few people are heading at the moment,” she said.

“We’re also a dipping and spelling station at Kalala because we are close to the tick line.

“So we have had cattle get here, dipped and spelled for days and generally most of them are heading that way and some are heading to Queensland as well, but most of them to Victoria.”

While the Indonesian Government is still yet to issue live export permits to export cattle to Indonesia, Ms Murphy said that currently was not affecting her business.

“We’re off the export market at the moment. We hit it earlier in the year, at February and March, and then we’re a bit quiet until about August, September, when we will look to send a few more,” she said.

“It doesn’t really faze us as much. I’m sure it is worrying a few people, but I think Indonesia is just making us wait a bit. I’m sure they will come through.”

PHOTO: High domestic cattle prices make it viable for Top End pastoralists to send stock to Victoria.

Courtesy of ABC Rural

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