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Silence from Canberra deafening, while WA sheep farmers suffer

The Australian Livestock Exporters’ Council said that while the last week had brought a brief reprieve for WA farmers with the announcement of financial support from the state government, the silence from Federal Minister, Senator Murray Watt was deafening.

CEO Mark Harvey-Sutton said it was disappointing that there was no response from Canberra to the calls of farmers from WA, particularly when it is the Government’s own proposal to ban live sheep that is undermining confidence.

“The Albanese Government can inject much needed confidence into the market immediately by withdrawing their proposed ban.”

“We know that there’s times of drought and oversupply and farmers plan for that. Let me be very clear – this is not the fault of farmers. Instead, it is the ‘bloody mindedness’ of a government interfering in legitimate market. All to pursue an activist driven agenda.”

“The best the Government has been able to come up with is pointing to growth in markets such as the UK, India and China which, while incredibly important and valuable, generally seek a different product to that provided by WA. To go so far as to categorise the WA industry as remaining strong, in the current circumstances, shows a complete detachment from meat industry dynamics, the view of the WA Government and Farmers regarding the situation on the ground.”

“The Albanese Government cannot shirk its responsibility. In the face of all scientific evidence and data, the government are going to ban a trade that is crucial to setting prices and underpinning confidence in the West.”

The State Minister, Jackie Jarvis has called for a delay in the moratorium on shipping, to try and provide a viable alternative for farmers to export sheep. This is a significant acknowledgment of the trade’s importance, yet it seems to be sitting in Minister Watt’s inbox with no public acknowledgment of the request.”

“The only government speaking up at the moment is the WA Government as they understand the importance of live sheep exports to their farmers, who provide them with food every day of the week.”

“For the Commonwealth Government to remain silent in the face of a disaster they have caused is shameful and contemptuous to WA’s crucial farmers. All Western Australians are rightly appalled by how their farmers livelihoods are being destroyed by Canberra.”


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