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Sheep Producers Australia responds to Labor’s reckless and rushed trade ban that chooses politics over people

2 July 2024

In passing legislation to ban live sheep exports by sea last night, the Labor Government has shown it continues to choose back-room preference deals and appeasing animal activists over the proper process and supporting rural communities.


Sheep Producers Australia Director Bindi Murray and CEO Bonnie Skinner joined the Western Australian (WA) sheep delegation in Canberra this week, meeting with parliamentarians to explain why the trade is integral to WA’s farming systems, animal welfare, and Australia’s trade relationships.


Sheep Producers Australia Board Director Bindi Murray said the delegation met with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese yesterday to raise concerns about the process and Labor’s reckless rush to get through parliament.


“We strongly advised both the allocated funds and timeframes fell far short to deliver a transition that leaves ‘No one worse off, no one left behind’ for the impacted families and businesses.”


“The Prime Minister personally assured us ‘cattle are off the table’ and that he won’t let ‘rural communities be left behind’. We strongly advised that the allocated funds and timeframes fell far short of delivering a transition that leaves ‘No one worse off, no one left behind’ for impacted families, communities, and businesses.”


“The poor process should have been enough to require a Senate inquiry and any politician with an ounce of integrity should have backed one. We thank the Senators who voted with logic and integrity and did back an inquiry.”


“The fact that a petition can gather 60,000 signatures in just over six weeks shows there are a whole lot of people who don’t share his confidence.” Ms Murray.


“Mr Albanese needs to stand by his word and make sure this decision doesn’t decimate the sheep industry and WA communities. He needs to ensure ongoing and meaningful consultation as he indicated yesterday his government would work with regional communities and industry to ensure good social and economic outcomes.” Ms Skinner.


“We look forward to hearing from the Prime Minister about a solid plan on how to deliver on his word and address issues like competition and critical mass.” Ms Skinner.


Ms Murray said Sheep Producers Australia was waiting to learn more about the government’s plans to process more sheepmeat in Australia to fill the gaping hole live export will leave.


“The Labor party continues to peddle misinformation that live export has smaller throughput than the abattoirs as a reason for the ban. This should send a chill through rural communities, supply chains, and groups. Our meat processors are at capacity, it’s alarming to think the government is so far out of touch with farming it thinks this is an easy solution.” Ms Murray.


Sheep Producers Australia CEO Bonnie Skinner said the rush to legislate showed the industry had rattled the government.


“We have been fighting for the best outcomes for sheep producers on this issue for many years. This fight will continue.” Ms Skinner.




Annie Frisch

GM Public Relations

m 0455 999 130

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