8 Sept 2023
The Western Australian delegation to Canberra this week included representatives from Sheep Producers Australia, WAFarmers, WoolProducers Australia, the Western Australian Shearing Industry Association, WA Livestock & Rural Transport Association, ASheep, Pastoralist and Graziers Association, wool and sheep farmers. The implications of this policy are complex and if implemented will impact international trade, Australia’s reputation and our regional communities. A phase out won’t just affect farmers, it will be felt across the entire supply chain, communities, and impact the Australian economy.
“If the policy to phase out live sheep exports by sea is implemented it will be devastating to the families and communities in regions of Western Australia (WA) and if it is rushed it will be catastrophic. Policy decisions made for Australian agriculture must be evidence-based, strategic, inclusive and collaborative. It is imperative that politicians consider the broader issues including the impacts on foreign affairs, diplomacy and Australia’s reputation,” explained Bindi Murray, Sheep Producers Australia Board Director, Pastoralist and Grazers Association (PGA) and WA Producer.
Sarah Brown, Executive Officer Association for Sheep Husbandry, Excellence, Evaluation and Production (ASheep) said agricultural policy should be set through thoughtful, measured assessment of evidence and impact.
“It is extremely frustrating that this is being driven by politics, and what is being missed is due consideration for the real and lasting impacts that this policy will have on rural communities and agricultural systems if it is implemented,” said Ms Brown.
“Producers rely on the competitive tension provided by live export to ensure fairer farmgate pricing and the confidence to continue to invest in their sheep production businesses. It is incumbent on the government to ensure that the policies they implement do not have anti-competitive outcomes,” said Bonnie Skinner, CEO Sheep Producers Australia.
This week we were fortunate to have had a wide range of genuine meetings. The delegation would like to thank Minister Watt, Labor, Liberal and National party members, independents and members of the crossbench for giving their time to understand that phasing out live sheep exports by sea, risks phasing out communities and peoples’ livelihoods.
Along with other key state and national agricultural representative organisations, Sheep Producers Australia will continue to strongly oppose this policy and calls on Government to reverse this decision to safeguard the Australian sheep industry, and rural Australia more broadly.
Members of the Delegation
Geoff Pearson Livestock President WAFarmers
Steve McGuire Vice President WAFarmers and Wool industry
Steven Bolt Corrigin sheep farmer and Director The Livestock Collective
Darren Spencer Vice President Western Australian Shearing Industry Association
Ben Sutherland Vice President WA Livestock and Rural Transport Association
Bindi Murray Sheep Producers Australia Board Director Member of the Pastoralist and Grazers Association (PGA) and Sheep Producer WA
Sarah Brown Executive Office Association for Sheep Husbandry, Excellence, Evaluation and Production (ASheep)
Supporting the delegation
John Hassel President WAFarmers
Jo Hall CEO WoolProducers Australia
Bonnie Skinner CEO Sheep Producers Australia
Annie Frisch GM Public Relations
email@example.com 0455 999 130