The Nationals WA have held talks with the Federal Agriculture Minister in Canberra, encouraging him to come to Western Australia as soon as possible to meet with sheep producers and live exporters.
Spokesperson for agriculture Colin de Grussa and Roe MP Peter Rundle, whose electorate is home to the highest concentration of sheep producers in WA, visited Canberra on Wednesday to meet with Minister David Littleproud.
“The purpose of the meeting was to strongly impress upon the Minister the importance of the live sheep trade to regional Western Australia’s economy,” Mr de Grussa said.
“Both Peter and I told the Minister we were eager to have him come across to WA as soon as possible to meet with a number of key industry players.
“I am happy to report Minister Littleproud indicated he was very interested in coming west and we are working towards a date for that to happen.”
The Nationals WA duo also met with the Deputy Secretary of the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, to be briefed on reforms within the sector.
Other issues raised during meetings included Federal funding for the extension of the State Barrier Fence.
“While in Government, The Nationals provided more than $10.5 million through Royalties for Regions for upgrades and extensions to the State Barrier Fence,” Mr Rundle said.
“This included upgrading the existing fence to wild dog standard by installing lapwire to the base of the fence and constructing the 170km ‘Yilgarn Gap’ between Southern Cross and Hyden.
“Now the priority is to extend the State Barrier Fence eastwards from its current termination point near Ravensthorpe, extending north around Salmon Gums and terminating east of Esperance near Cape Arid National Park.”
Mr de Grussa said Minister Littleproud was very generous with his time.
“The Nationals believe face-to-face advocacy is better than the preferred method of WA’s current Labor Agriculture Minister who tends to shout and stomp her feet through the media until she gets what she wants,” Mr de Grussa said.
“Clearly, that approach isn’t working for WA pastoralists.”