The Opposition has called on the Federal and WA Labor Governments to come together to prevent the imposition of strong regulatory conditions on live cattle exporters in Western Australia.
Leader of the Opposition and Leader of the Nationals WA Shane Love said it was important WA Labor realised the seriousness of this issue and acted swiftly to put in place measures that bolstered the industry.
“I am calling on Anthony Albanese, Federal Minister for Agriculture Murray Watt, Premier Roger Cook and WA’s Agriculture Minister Jackie Jarvis to begin a public dialogue with the pastoralists of Western Australia to ensure the industry has a clear line of communication.
“Now more than ever it is crucial the State and Federal Labor Government’s work together, and, given the Premier only two weeks ago announced plans to establish an embassy to do the job of elected 14 Federal Labor Members, we have little confidence in this relationship.
“This is too important to get wrong – stakeholders need to be brought into conversations with Government and while we await the results of Indonesia’s 60-day review, planning must be undertaken to ensure strength of the industry.
“Murray Watt and Anthony Albanese’s trip to WA last week was evidently no more than a tax-payer funded ‘holiday’ which failed to speak to the very real concerns of live-exporters, who the Minister failed to even meet with.
“The Premier’s trip to Indonesia, with a huge delegation of 130 people, must focus on this issue – our exporters and producers need to be confident protections for our industry are front and centre of talks with Indonesia.”
Shadow Minister for Agriculture Colin De Grussa encouraged the WA Labor Government to work closely with the Federal Labor Government.
“We have seen WA Labor falter in their advocacy for West Australian Agriculture, ignoring concerns from our communities and industries – now is their chance to step up to the plate,” Mr De Grussa said.
“The WA Labor Government should by now have called the Emergency Animal Disease Preparedness Taskforce together to ensure exporters have a clear pathway to this important market.
“This should be the number one priority for Minister Jarvis, who’s predecessor failed to take matters such as this as seriously as they deserved.
“The Opposition understands just how crucial the strength of the trade is, for our regional communities and indeed the whole state – we will continue working with stakeholders to ensure their concerns are heard.”