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Labor is keeping the live sheep export industry in the dark, after refusing to release findings of its Independent Panel Report.
Leader of The Nationals and Shadow Agriculture Minister David Littleproud submitted a Freedom of Information (FOI) request for the 230-page report to be released.
However, Mr Littleproud’s request has been denied, with the report to remain a secret, after the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry responded that it was refusing access due to Cabinet-in-Confidence.
Mr Littleproud said Labor needed to be transparent about the report, which Agriculture Minister Murray Watt received a month ago, after a live sheep export phase out panel travelled around Western Australia but failed to properly consult with the industry.
“I am incredibly disappointed that Labor sees fit to remain secretive about phasing out the live sheep export trade,” Mr Littleproud said.
“If Agriculture Minister Murray Watt is so confident in his decision to phase out the industry, why won’t he release details of the report?
According to Meat and Livestock Australia, some sheep and lamb categories have fallen by up to 70 per cent in the saleyards in the last 12 months.
Mr Littleproud added Labor had allowed sheep prices to flatline but also failed to investigate why families were still paying high prices for lamb at the supermarket, through an Australian Competition and Consumer Commission investigation.
“Labor is destroying the livelihoods of more than 3000 people who work in the trade and an
“Minister Watt didn’t have the courage to travel with the panel and look farmers in the eye
himself to say he was stopping the trade – now he doesn’t even have the courage to release
the report.”
“We now know Minister Watt made decisions without being given proper modelling or
details into the impact of banning live sheep exports and without evidence.
“This is an industry that has already lost confidence, with sheep prices plummeting.
“If Minister Watt is so confident in his decision and the science behind it, details about the Independent Panel Report must be released.
“Labor is destroying a whole industry. It will impact the sheep and wool industry across
“Farmers are broken over this decision – it is also having an enormous emotional impact on
thousands of people.
“A future Coalition government with The Nationals will ensure the live sheep export trade is


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