The Nationals WA have accused the State Government of giving their Federal counterparts a “free pass” to shut down WA’s $250 million live export industry.
Member for the Agricultural Region, Colin de Grussa MLC, raised the matter with the Minister for Agriculture in Parliament during Question Time yesterday.
“I asked the Minister whether the Federal Labor Party had sought any input from the State Government on the impacts of ending the live export trade,” Mr de Grussa said.
“The Minister failed to table any correspondence of the sort and stated her goal was to deliver a ‘proper transition’ away from live export.”
Mr de Grussa said the State Government had also failed to consider the broader impacts of shutting down the trade.
“Given the State Government’s support for ending the trade, I asked if they had prepared any modelling about the impact it would have on the economy, on regional employment or any broader social ramifications.
“There was none.”
Mr de Grussa accused the State Government of failing to fulfil its responsibility to WA farmers.
“Instead of standing up for our State’s sheep producers, the State Government fawning at the feet to their Federal colleagues who have no interest in delivering a good deal for farmers or regional communities,” he said.
“It’s so disappointing and disheartening for farmers, livestock transporters and anyone involved with the industry that the State Government has abandoned them.”
Mr de Grussa said the live export industry had taken great strides over the past 18 months to improve animal welfare outcomes and regain their social licence.
“Animal mortality rates on live export ships are now at the lowest level they have ever been,” he said.
Senate candidate Nick Fardell said voters would be “playing for sheep stations” on May 18.
“The Nationals are in a fight to protect the biggest sheep station of them all – Australia,” Mr Fardell said.
“There is a clear choice at the Federal election, a Labor Government that will shut down an important agricultural industry in WA, or The Nationals WA who are fighting for the best outcomes for all of regional WA.”