The Nationals WA have expressed disappointment at Joel Fitzgibbon’s reappointment to the Opposition front bench today amid fears he wants to tear down WA’s crucial live export industry.
With new Labor leader Anthony Albanese expected to reappoint Mr Fitzgibbon as Shadow Agriculture Minister as early as this weekend, the industry’s relief at a Coalition election victory is quickly turning to consternation.
“Hopefully Mr Albanese has more sense than his predecessor Bill Shorten and keeps Mr Fitzgibbon as far away from the ag portfolio as possible,” The Nationals WA agriculture spokesperson Colin de Grussa said.
“Joel Fitzgibbon is electoral poison in regional WA and he clearly hasn’t learnt anything from the shock defeat Labor suffered on May 18.
“Mr Fitzgibbon has already indicated he’ll keep pushing to ban live sheep exports – shutting down an industry worth more than $250 million to the WA economy each year – and, inevitably, will move toward cattle.”
Mr de Grussa called on the State Government to intervene on the industry’s behalf and advocate for someone who backs WA to be appointed Shadow Agriculture Minister.
“We need the Premier and the State Agriculture Minister to step in,” Mr de Grussa said.
“This is Alannah MacTiernan’s chance to show the industry she is fair dinkum in her support for live trade and not just an animal activist in disguise
“Minister MacTiernan needs to pick up the phone and tell her mate ‘Albo’ that Joel Fitzgibbon is not good for WA jobs, he does not represent the views of the industry and he is a threat to regional economies.
“If Labor wants to reverse the trend and actually start winning seats in WA at the next Federal election then it needs to do the right thing by our State.
“It’s high time Labor detached itself from the Greens and the inner-city, vegan activists which appear to rule the party these days.
“Stand up for the bush and stand up for our live export industry.”