Stations seek roadworks
Pilbara pastoralists hope WA’s new Agriculture Minister Alannah MacTiernan will continue to support the cattle industry, with one station owner saying he will lobby for an upgrade to roads he says have not been graded for the past five years.
Wallareena Station owner and manager Zane Day said he hoped consideration would be given to improving roads in the De Grey area, saying the condition of the Pippingarra and Indee roads were detrimental to the cattle’s wellbeing.
Mr Day said it was not uncommon for cattle that spent a lot of time travelling to lose a large amount of body weight through stress.
“The roads are our main concern,” he said. “We can’t get our produce out because the roads are locked in.
“If you get in and do it properly the first time, it saves you money in the long run.”
Yarrie Station owner Annabelle Coppin said she supported Ms MacTiernan’s plan to refocus efforts on research and development and welcomed an extensive program for the northern beef industry. She also said keeping Royalties for Regions alive in rural WA should be a top priority.
“Some of the large exciting programs, like Northern Beef Futures, that have already been rolled out could be overhauled for efficiency and impact in the northern industry,” she said.
Ms Coppin also wanted continued support of supply chain development for the live and domestic markets, with a focus on shipping live exports from Port Hedland again and continual market support from government for the live trade.
“The Government departments, particularly in the Department of Lands, need a total overhaul in terms of their process to allow responsible and innovative development of the north,” she said.
“This includes anything from large irrigation development right down to very small but significant changes on traditional family stations.
“Anything to do with change in this department seems to have no official process, which is making it very frustrating and in many cases distressing for many on northern cattle properties.”
Kimberley Pilbara Cattlemen’s Association chairman David Stoate hoped the minister’s knowledge of the sector would promote growth.
He said the KPCA was concerned about land tenure and red tape over diversification permits, which were outside of the agriculture portfolio.
He said the Government should focus on buyer security and getting the best value.
Ellody Caunt gets the cattle moving at sunrise on the second day of a massive cattle drive from Bidgemia Station to Mooloo Downs.
Wallareenya pastoralist Zane Day.