18 Mar 2014

Guy reluctant to interfere with meat industry

8:10 am on 18 March 2014

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy is refusing to interfere in the meat industry until he gets a clear message about where it wants to head with restructuring.

The Meat Industry Excellence group seeking to reform the red meat sector has called on Mr Guy to convene a summit to address what it describes as a crisis.

Mr Guy disputes that the industry is in crisis, although he accepts it has some serious challenges.

He said if the key industry players could agree on strategy and were prepared to organise a pan-industry summit, he would participate - but he did not see any sign yet that it had reached that point.

"If there is a clear sense of where the industry would like to go, and it's backed ... then I'm very happy to be involved.

"But I'm not getting a sense that there is a clear sense of direction at the moment."

Mr Guy's stance came under fire from Labour MP Damien O'Connor, who said he should be taking more of a leadership role in fixing the meat industry.