Re­gions at risk in live trade ban

Countryman - - NEWS - Zach Relph

Re­gional WA will suf­fer with­out the live ex­port in­dus­try’s eco­nomic in­jec­tion if pro­cessed meat re­places the trade and tra­di­tional mar­kets cease to pur­chase Aus­tralian pro­duce, a pas­toral buff says.

Pas­toral­ists and Gra­ziers As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent Tony Seabrook said open mar­kets un­der­pinned the na­tion’s econ­omy, while ad­dress­ing del­e­gates at the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s con­ven­tion last Thurs­day.

Mr Seabrook said Fed­eral La­bor’s threat­ened live ex­port ban within five years of be­ing elected could crip­ple the State’s ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties.

“There is no doubt that a ban on live ex­port will cause mas­sive eco­nomic dam­age through­out WA, dec­i­mat­ing both the agri­cul­tural and pas­toral in­dus­tries,” he said.

“Many are say­ing we should process our an­i­mals here — this is not a vi­able op­tion.

“If you put aside the fact that our mar­kets de­mand live an­i­mals for prac­ti­cal rea­sons, such as lack of re­frig­er­a­tion, then there is still as­so­ci­ated costs to them such as labour.

“A sim­ple com­par­i­son of cat­tle slaugh­ter costs in Aus­tralia of $300/head ver­sus $25/head in In­done­sia, the is­sue be­comes clearer.”

On Septem­ber 22, the Maysora de­parted from Fre­man­tle Port car­ry­ing about 22,000 wethers for Live­stock Ship­ping Ser­vices.

It was the first time a ves­sel left WA with live sheep since June 6.

Mr Seabrook said Aus­tralia was at risk of miss­ing new ex­port op­por­tu­ni­ties to emerg­ing mar­kets if the live ex­port halt was not rec­ti­fied.

WA Agri­cul­tural Min­is­ter Alan­nah MacTier­nan, also a key­note speaker at the event, said the in­dus­try needed to ex­plore new mar­kets.

“Whether it’s live ex­port, whether it’s car­case, whether it’s fully boned; let’s keep an open mind,” she said.

Alan­nah MacTier­nan

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