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Labor announces disingenuous live sheep phase out committee

Leader of The Nationals David Littleproud said Labor’s inquiry into the phase out of the live sheep export trade is once again disingenuous.

Mr Littleproud said Labor has allowed just one week for submissions and has requested the committee report back in just over two weeks from now, by June 21, despite two public hearings in both Western Australia and Canberra.

“Labor’s committee cannot possibly investigate the consequences into the phasing out of the live sheep export trade in such a short timeframe,” Mr Littleproud said.

“This is another example of Labor treating our farmers with contempt.”

The committee announced by Agriculture Minister Murray Watt is a House of Representatives Standing Committee, which is confusing for farmers, given that the House of Representatives voted down The Nationals’ motion for an inquiry just last week.

It also comes after Minister Watt pledged a Senate inquiry into the issue during Senate Estimates, declaring, ‘it’s Senate inquiries that do legislation inquiries and I’m sure that will happen here’ and that it would be ‘a good idea for a Senate inquiry to go to WA’.

“The committee The Nationals tried to obtain would have been given until 8 October, 2024, to report back, allowing thorough and proper investigation, instead of Labor’s rushed inquiry.

“Farmers deserve answers, because Minister Watt is now avoiding a Senate inquiry and still unable to explain the science behind closing the industry and destroying the livelihoods of 3000 farmers.

“The transition package of $107 million only includes $64.6 million for sheep producers and the supply chain – it isn’t good enough. We also need answers into the so-called independent panel that travelled around WA and the callous way our farmers have bee n treated by Labor. This committee will inevitably be rushed and once again cause more anxiety among farmers. The Nationals will always back our farmers – a future Coalition Government will reinstate the live sheep export trade.”

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