CATTLE producers have cautiously welcomed Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's $60 million Indonesia-Australia red meat and cattle forum.
Mr Rudd announced the plan during a visit to Indonesia last week.
The initiative aims to "boost investment in the red meat agribusiness sector" in Indonesia.
Mr Rudd also thanked Indonesia for its "co-operation given recent challenges" regarding live export.
Cattle Council of Australia president Andrew Ogilvie said it was the "first step in starting afresh" relations with the trading partner.
Former Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig abruptly put a temporary ban on live Australian cattle exports to Indonesia two years ago, after revelations of animal abuse.
But Mr Ogilvie said Mr Rudd's move was a chance to renew the relationship.
"In politics, there is always the opportunity to start afresh with new people," Mr Ogilvie said. "It is good that this dialogue with Indonesia is progressing."
But he stressed Top End cattle producers were now in a "perilous situation" due to the live export ban, followed by severe, dry conditions.
"Those two things have really put a lot of people under pressure, but the lowering Australian dollar is a ray of sunshine," Mr Ogilvie said.
Meanwhile, Mount Isa MP Rob Katter said a recent visit by Indonesian Ambassador Nadjib Riphat Kesoema to Gulf properties had been a "significant step forward in repairing relations" between the two countries.
"It was apparent that there will always need to be a requirement for the Indonesians to source live export animals from Australia and that the relationship was very important," Mr Katter said.
"The ambassador got to speak and talk to real producers and see the scale of our properties.
"The ambassador said three things: that Indonesia would like to be able to invest in a station of their own, so they had some skin in the game and could be confident about conditions here.
"I didn't take that as though they wanted to own the whole supply chain, but that they wanted to invest with us.
"The second, was they welcomed Australian investment in their industry and thirdly, they wanted more joint ventures."
Mr Ogilvie said foreign investors had "always bought cattle stations and nothing has changed, I don't see any problem if Indonesia wants to buy a station".
However, Mr Ogilvie said that alone was unlikely to have much impact on the relationship between the trading partners.