Monday, 11 September 2023
Live Sheep Exports
The live sheep trade is a key industry in my electorate of Durack and in Western Australia. The feedback that I'm receiving on the ground is that the government's decision to ban live sheep export is already having a catastrophic effect. I've heard firsthand that export markets are now having second thoughts on trading with Australian sheep producers due to the uncertainty caused by the Albanese government. But it isn't just those who are involved in the export trade who are suffering. Farmers who supply the domestic sheep market are also facing hardship due to the increased domestic supply. The price per head domestically has fallen so much that, for some, the cost of transporting lambs to a local abattoir has been more than the amount offered per head. This means farmers are being forced to put down their sheep just to bury them. As you can imagine, this is heartbreaking. As WoolProducers Australia president, Steve Harrison, said:
At a time when we could be clothing and feeding the world, here we are just throwing skins into the tip and shooting sheep.
I want to thank the groups that came to Canberra last week to advocate for the sheep industry and educate parliamentarians. Thanks to WAFarmers, WoolProducers Australia, Sheep Producers Australia, the Pastoralists and Graziers Association of Western Australia and the National Farmers Federation. I want to put on record that there were Labor members of this place who accepted the invitation to hear directly how their policy is hurting WA farmers. Shame on them for not showing up to the meeting!