National Party Members from around the country have today banded together at the Party’s Federal Conference in Canberra to provide their unequivocal support for Australia’s Live Sheep Export Industry.
As part of the Conference, the Nationals WA moved a motion that condemned the Labor Government for its mismanagement of the Live Sheep Export Industry consultation process in Western Australia and called on the Minister for Agriculture Murray Watt to face the industry in person.
Leader of the Nationals WA Shane Love said today’s unanimous support for the motion was telling of a nation sick and tired of Labor’s agenda to cut down regional communities and primary industries.
“Today, The National Party has come together to reject Labor’s relentless attacks on regional communities across our nation,” Mr Love said.
“Labor’s senseless ban on Live Sheep Exporting will inflict severe economic damage on Australia and tear apart the lives of those who depend on this vital industry.
“The live sheep export industry has long been a significant contributor to Australia’s economy, generating hundreds of millions of dollars each year and supporting thousands of jobs across the supply chain.”
Mr Love said the conference also backed in calls for Federal Agriculture Minister Murray Watt to face producers in Western Australia.
“Minister Watt has cowered in Canberra for too long, too spineless to face the sheep farmers whose lives he intends to destroy. The unanimous support at today’s party conference reflects his absence on a national scale.
“From ‘the Voice’ to botched cultural heritage laws, live-sheep exporting bans and a national cost of living crisis, Australians are over Labor’s handbrake on our country. Today, the Nationals have a resounding message to the Australian Labor Party: pack up and go home.”
In moving the motion, sheep producer and Nationals WA President Julie Freeman said The National Party is the only party standing up for regional people and their livelihoods.
“Labor’s shut-down of legitimate regional industries to win metropolitan votes will ruin our country’s reputation as a trading partner and destroy livelihoods in rural communities, leading to detrimental mental health outcomes,” Ms Freeman said.
“As the party of common sense that prides itself on listening to country people, the National Party has today said ‘enough is enough’ and has committed to supporting the live sheep exporting industry in WA and across Australia.”
Federal Leader of the Nationals David Littleproud said a future Coalition Government with The Nationals would ensure the live sheep export trade was saved.
“One of The Nationals’ first priorities under a new Coalition Government will be reinstating the live sheep export trade,” Mr Littleproud said.
“This is an industry that employs 3000 people and is worth $85 million to the Western Australian export market, and I am pleased the membership backs this much-needed industry just as much as our party room.”
That this Federal Conference
a) Commends The Nationals for their response to the ideologically-driven Labor Party ban on sheep live exports affirms our support for the live export industry
b) Condemns the Labor Government for its mismanagement of the Live Sheep Export Industry consultation process in Western Australia and calls on the Minister for Agriculture to visit Western Australia and personally face the industry
c) Recognises the untold damage being done to producers across the country to sheep producers by the ban; and
d) Commits The Nationals to undoing the ban and providing lasting pathways for the Australian red meat industry when next in Government.