THE green light for the cattle transaction levy increase should indicate an increase in live exports funding, in line with promises by Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA).
After initial consultation with WA producers regarding the levy increase, it was made apparent to MLA that immediate increases in live export funding were required to safeguard the industry.
MLA Livestock Exports general manager Mike Hayward said by the time the levy increase was made definite and various hoops had been jumped through it would not be until March next year when the additional $1 million promised to live exports would be made available.
He said two additional aspects of a promotional program for live exports would begin the initial consultation period.
"There are new things planned for live exports that have brought about increases in the MLA budget as a kind of down-payment on promises made," Mr Hayward said.
He said over the next six months research and consultation would start in Indonesia into the promotion of Australian live export meat.
He said this was important as it would place the industry in a standing start position when funds were made available next year.
"The second strong message needed for live exports is communication defending the trade," Mr Hayward said.
"The increased budget for this exercise has been significant at approximately half a million dollars."
Mr Hayward said MLA was also working on appointing a live export coordinator, who was due to be announced in the near future.
He said MLA was busy developing plans for local press and would be notifying peak councils later this month about the proposed campaign.
September and October would see the start of a press campaign stretching beyond WA aimed at rebuilding the confidence of producers in the industry.
MLA would continue live export programs already in place such as projects on animal welfare focused in the Middle East and South East Asia.
Mr Hayward said this was an important area of focus for MLA where the arrival of animals in other countries posed a significant weakness for the sustainability of the trade.
He said ongoing research and development projects in animal welfare would also continue, including MLA working with exporters to meet standards and regulations that had been significantly upgraded in the trade.