The Northern Territory Cattlemen’s Association say the NT Government needs to either ease border restrictions or radically improve the bureaucratic process around them. Picture: Emma Murray
The Northern Territory Cattlemen’s Association say the NT Government needs to either ease border restrictions or radically improve the bureaucratic process around them. Picture: Emma Murray

Cattle industry calls for open borders amid exemption delays

THE Territory's cattle industry has been crippled by lengthy travel exemption delays and the government needs to either open the border or radically improve the slow bureaucratic process around them, says NT Cattlemen's Association boss Ashley Manicaros.

Mr Manicaros said the pastoral sector had been forced to endure frustrating delays in processing the exemptions since the NT's borders closed in March.

"We have reached the stage where processing can take 20 business days and that exemptions issued at the start now need to be resubmitted due to changes," he said.

 

MORE CORONAVIRUS NEWS

Northern Territory effectively COVID-19 free as last active case recovers

Tourism boss eyes August 1 as date when NT borders could reopen

Gunner vows not to open borders early despite pressure, says 'southerners' remain a threat

 

"Despite the inefficiencies and impact on productivity we've managed to keep 10,000 people directly and indirectly employed without a single handout.

"Members of the pastoral sector have not been eligible for any of the COVID-19 assistance and at the same time have had to battle drought conditions."

"The least the NT Government can do is either lift the border restrictions or make it easier for the industry to operate. We can't stay in a system like the one we have until August or September.

NT Cattlemen’s Association CEO Ashley Manicaros
NT Cattlemen’s Association CEO Ashley Manicaros

"This far in - eight weeks - it is not acceptable that the wrinkles in the system have not been ironed out."

 

NEW OFFER: Get amazing Sennheiser earbuds (RRP: $499) with NT News subscription deal

 

A paper released by Master Builders called Toward a New Economy estimates 13,000 jobs might be lost in the NT.

Mr Manicaros said the cattle industry will be incredibly exposed should the 13,000 people not getting their jobs back at the end of June decide to leave the NT.

He said the likelihood of that occurring escalates every day the borders remain closed.

"We already know that if a person loses their job in the NT they won't stay," he said.

"We may end up being collateral damage to any population drain where couples decide to leave even if one of them has a job in our industry."

Originally published as Cattle industry call for open borders amid exemption delays



Morning rewind: Top 5 stories you may have missed

Premium Content Morning rewind: Top 5 stories you may have missed

The top stories you may have missed yesterday, Monday August 10.

How Gladstone pensioners can get a $500 rates subsidy

Premium Content How Gladstone pensioners can get a $500 rates subsidy

To be eligible you must have a pension card and own a property in the region.

What’s needed to re-open the region’s campgrounds

Premium Content What’s needed to re-open the region’s campgrounds

Gladstone Regional Council announced camp grounds would be closed from July 28.