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Minister Watt flip flops on live sheep ban with eleventh-hour inquiry

Speaking today as the Government announced a House of Representatives inquiry into the live sheep ban, ALEC CEO, Mark Harvey-Sutton declared the move was “outrageous” and was an attempt by the Albanese Government to jam through a policy that is universally unwanted across the agriculture industry.

“This is another typical move from a government that has tried to rush in a policy that puts farmers out of business, as well as risks WA’s small towns going broke,” he said.

Last week in Parliament, there were attempts by the opposition to commence and inquiry. Instead of agreeing to it, the Government declined, but has now backflipped and given industry just 7 days to respond to the inquiry.

“Unfortunately, this is typical of the Minister’s entire approach to this issue. It is radio silence and then eleventh-hour notification to industry. It’s not the approach that farmers or industry deserve.”

“In Senate Estimates last week the Minister was clear that he promised a Senate inquiry. However, he is now walking back from that promise to the safety of the government’s majority in the House of Reps. For farmers, contractors and other people in these WA communities who make long term decisions about their businesses to only be given a week to tell their stories is shameful.”

Just last week the Minister failed to front farmers and their 3000+ supporters as the convoy, which stretched over 20km and involved over 1700 vehicles through Perth took to the streets, in one of the largest protests ever seen in Australian agricultural history.

“This policy is ruinous and a Senate Committee that he promised is now not happening. Such a committee needs to listen to WA farmers, instead of looking for votes from inner city activists.”


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