Live export’s fight to survive
A prominent northern pastoralist says his business and the northern cattle industry will be “decimated” if live exports cease to exist.
Haydn Sale, of Yougawalla Station in the Kimberley, said he was worried about his future, and the industry was in a fight for survival.
“The problem is we are not getting the cut through to the everyday person who does not know how we operate,” he said as part of a panel discussion at the Kimberley Pilbara Cattlemen’s Association annual conference in Port Hedland last Friday.
“You can’t bury your head on this, we are in a huge fight if we want to continue to exist.
“To keep telling each other what a wonderful job we are doing is not going to work.
“The biggest challenge is getting more information about what we do into the public domain.”
Mr Sale said much of the general public did not understand why live export was important, and he was regularly asked why the cattle are not sent to the meatworks.
He said there was a lack of understanding about the difficultly getting cattle to the right slaughter weight under pastoral conditions.
Hedland Export Depot owner and former Nationals Agriculture Region member Paul Brown agreed the industry does not tell a good story about itself.
“Our stakeholder groups are doing very little,” he said.
“Australian Livestock Exporters Council is doing a terrible job of supporting the exporters.
“We should we looking at a multifaceted publicity campaign that is not just reaction when something happens.
“We need to tell our story continuously, in the good times and the bad times. When we tell it just in the bad times, nobody is listening as the door is closed.”
International Livestock Export managing director Mike Stanton, whose business has been threatened after being the subject of a show-cause notice, said (on the sidelines) he had not yet heard the result from the Federal regulator.
However he vowed to stay in the business for the long haul.
Paul Brown with International Livestock Export’s Mike Stanton and NT Cattlemen’s Association’s Ashley Manicaros.