Operators fear for business
I fielded a call from a grown man who was crying on the end of the phone. Andy Jacob
The State’s premier livestock transport body warns rippling repercussions caused by the live export halt could deliver a fatal blow to WA-based trucking owneroperators by the year’s end.
Rural and Livestock Transport Association president Andy Jacob outlined a lull in livestock movements during the northern summer having significant effects on road livestock carriers.
Mr Jacob said the RLTA found a live sheep would be carried about 31⁄2 times by the time it reached Fremantle Port.
However, sheep en route to a WAbased abattoir would be carried about 11⁄2 times.
At last Thursday’s Pastoralists and Graziers Association convention, Mr Jacob said multiple organisation members were concerned about business viability because of decreased shipping opportunity.
Mr Jacob said he had answered about six calls in the last fortnight from owner-operators unsure if their operations would survive the live export uncertainty.
“They are genuinely concerned about their business and whether or not they are going to make it to Christmas,” he said.
“They are not getting the work that was happening, so the local carrier is in grave fear of becoming extinct — the knock-on effect is really starting to be felt.
“I fielded a call from a grown man who was crying on the end of the phone, he is genuinely concerned about his business.
“The biggest concern is the volume of movements and that is going to be fundamental on who stays in the game and who doesn’t.”
Emanuel Exports export services manager John Edwards told the forum reduced sheep exports was severely hurting the WA economy.
Mr Edwards said from June to September last year, about 532,000 sheep were exported from WA with an estimated return to farmers worth more than $61 million.
In the same period this year, he said about 19,000 sheep had been shipped from the State, with the decrease impeding services connected to the live export industry.
“The income loss this year will be far in excess of the figures (from 2017),” he said.
“Should we include losses experienced from services of suppliers, the amount of dollars will run into tens of millions for regional WA.”