Live Export

WA farmers get their dollars together for live sheep fight

Terry Sim, March 20, 2024

WA Liberal MP Rick Wilson in Federal Parliament yesterday.

WESTERN Australian farmers are readying themselves for a political battle over the proposed phaseout of live sheep exports by sea in some of the state’s key federal seats.

WA Liberal MP Rick Wilson told Federal Parliament yesterday that WAFarmers president and Pastoralists and Graziers Association president Tony Seabrook were raising a $6 million war chest to challenge Labor in marginal Perth seats at the next federal election.

“PGA president, Tony Seabrook, named the Labor seats of Tangney, Hasluck, Swan, Pearce and Cowan — and I’m betting that we’ll have plenty of retired cockies backing them to win back Curtin as well,” Mr Wilson said.

“The PM needs to understand that there will be a political price to pay for persecuting WA farmers, whose only crime is to feed and clothe our great nation, and export specialist product, like live sheep, to nations that cannot produce their own.

“I believe Australians appreciate where their food comes from and will support this campaign driven by passionate farmers who are fighting for the future of Australian agriculture and the sustainability of our regional communities,” Mr Wilson said.

Plan to target marginal electorates

Mr Seabrook was not available today to confirm Mr Wilson’s statements, but Mr Hassell said he had seen a quote for a $1.6 million media campaign over 16 marginal electorates, that WAFarmers is considering participating in.

“We (the WAFarmers board) haven’t committed to anything at this stage.”

Mr Hassell said a Live Export Action Group that includes representatives from Sheep Producers Australia, WoolProducers Australia, WAFarmers, PGA and the Australian Livestock Exporters Association is meeting weekly.

“We’re looking at trying to raise this $1.6 million so we can target these marginal electorates.

“Doing nothing is not an option,” he said.

“There is definitely not a final course of action, but these are the sorts of things that we are thinking about.”

Mr Hassell said he still believes the live sheep export trade by seas is a “sacrificial lamb on the altar of preference deals.”

“They’ve got very political with, it’s not about science, so unfortunately we are going to have to fight it in the same sort of manner, but we are not sure how at this stage.”

Mr Hassell said recent estimates on the value of the live sheep trade to Western Australia had overlooked the economic multiplier effect of associated businesses, employment and trade.

“In reality it’s worth somewhere between $300 million and a billion dollars to the economy, so why do we keep minimising it and saying it only worth $80 million?”


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  1. Brendan Mahoney, March 21, 2024

    Israel is experiencing famine at the moment. A boat load of sheep and cattle will help. Get MLA (fed government) and the sheep donated. The sheep donated should get publicity, get the Israeli community on board to help. The Palestinian community also.
    The last boat of food took an extra eight weeks to get there thanks to Murray Watt. How many people died before the food got there?

  2. Katrina Love, March 21, 2024

    Good luck with that – not really. I’m really interested to see them spend millions of $$ trying to reverse a swing towards Labor of +9.96 percent in Cowan, +11.89pc in Hasluck, +14.23pc in Pearce, +11.99pc in Swan, and +11.88pc in Tangney, based on supporting animal cruelty and suffering, in a state where 70pc of the community want to see an end to live sheep exports.

  3. Glenn Nix, March 20, 2024

    Votes are the only thing the trots understand. Losing seats may stampede them back toward the sensible centre .

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