Member for Central Wheatbelt Mia Davies has called on the Federal Government’s Live Export taskforce to add further dates to their regional consultation tour, saying they needed to visit the eastern Wheatbelt.
Ms Davies said the consultation schedule was poorly advertised, announced with minimal notice, and needed to be extended to allow more growers, business owners and communities impacted by the disgraceful decision
to have their voices heard.
“The dates were announced with very little notice, right in the middle of seeding, and ignored the eastern wheatbelt completely,” Ms Davies said.
“I personally believe the forums are just a tick and flick exercise for the Labor Government to say they consulted, but if they’re going to do it, they should do it properly and give the people they’re ripping a business out from under the chance to have their say.”
Mia Davies said the feeling of helplessness, anger and frustration was palpable across the sector.
“They have every right to be angry with a Government that has made an arbitrary decision to shut down a legitimate industry,” she said.
“What the Prime Minister and his east-coast colleagues fail to realise is how devastating this will be for hardworking farmers, truckies, small business owners, port workers – everyone along the supply chain.
“Pandering to the inner-city green vote while shutting down an industry that has met every regulatory hurdle, animal welfare practices and more should send shivers down the spine of other primary industries.
“The Prime Minister knows there is minimal political downside for Labor in shutting down live sheep export, but all this will do is embolden activists to move onto the next legitimate industry.”
Ms Davies said the Premier and Minister for Agriculture’s silence on the issue was deafening.
“Hiding behind the fact that it is a Federal decision is an excuse, and a poor one at that,” she said.
“The Premier has proven again and again that he has a voice and is prepared to use it on State, Federal, and international issues when it suits him politically.
“He and his Minister for Agriculture could be champions for this industry and the people in it, but they remain silent.
“The fact Minister Jarvis is letting a billion-dollar industry slide away under her watch is an absolute disgrace.
“I hope they’re prepared to spend a significant amount of their surplus that has been stashed away to support those that will be impacted, because the financial and mental impacts of having a legitimate business ripped from under you will be significant.”