Shadow Minister for Agriculture and Food Colin de Grussa has called on the McGowan Labor Government to ensure wrap around support is available to primary producers in response to the one in a hundred-year floods which have decimated the Kimberley.
Mr de Grussa said the loss of livestock and damage to infrastructure as a result of the floods would be better quantified in the coming weeks as the community worked to rebuild after the unprecedented devastation.
“The destruction caused by this once-in-a hundred year flood is obviously very wide spread and will have ongoing impacts across a number of sectors,” Mr de Grussa said.
“It is estimated tens of thousands of livestock has been lost and while the full extent of the damage is gradually coming to light we know the recovery for primary producers will be lengthy and challenging.
Mr de Grussa said that ensuring Agriculture is not forgotten in the McGowan Labor Government’s response to the floods would be a big test for the newly minted Agriculture Minister.
“Minister Jarvis has much to do in guiding Western Australia’s incredibly important Agriculture industry and the McGowan Labor Government’s response to the floods will be a very important test in her new role,” he said.
“We need to see disaster recovery arrangements in place for primary producers as soon as possible, as well as a senior working group from DPIRD established to drive the recovery as quickly as possible.
“The McGowan Labor Government needs to stay engaged with the industry, and it is crucial primary producers stay central to decisions made by the Minister and the government.”
Mr de Grussa said the McGowan Labor Government’s subsidy on freight only applies to goods coming into the Kimberley, while those trying to export food and fibre products have been left high and dry.
“The subsidy must be extended to those trying to move product out of the region to minimise economic damage to this important part of Western Australia.”