Opposition challenges Federal Minister to face regional communities

The Opposition has challenged Federal Agriculture Minister Senator Murray Watt to have the courage to face West Australian farmers, businesses and communities who will bear the brunt of Labor’s disastrous decision to shut down the live export industry.

Deputy Opposition and Nationals WA Leader Peter Rundle said Murray Watt needed to get out of Canberra and look West Australians in the eye to explain his Government’s reasoning for the ban.

“The Minister can no longer hide behind his consultation panel – he needs to front up and see just how reckless this decision is,” Mr Rundle said.

“Not only are we talking about the decimation of a sustainable industry, but we are also talking about the livelihoods and futures of affected farmers, businesses and regional communities.

“Labor have shown time and time again they do not care about regional industries and communities.

“Their decision to shut down the live export industry is yet another in a long line of examples.

“If the Minister genuinely believes in a future for agriculture and the communities it supports, he should have the guts to front the people who will be impacted.”

Shadow Agriculture Minister Colin de Grussa said time was rapidly running out for people to have their say about Labor’s plan decision to decimate yet another regional industry in Australia.

“Time is running out and I cannot stress how important it is for Local Governments, community and industry groups and residents to provide feedback on Labor’s gutless plan via the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry,” Mr de Grussa said.

“Those concerned about this decision have until 31 May to make a submission and throw their support behind WA’s sheep industry and farmers.

“It has never been more important for the people who will be affected by Labor’s misguided decision to shut down the live export industry, to speak up and not let animal activists with no understanding of the industry skew the results.”

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