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Live sheep export phase out panel is a sham

Leader of The Nationals and Shadow Agriculture Minister David Littleproud has labelled Labor’s live sheep export phase out panel a “sham”, after revelations Labor gave late notice over the weekend for town hall meetings in Western Australia this week, making it almost impossible for farmers and industry to attend.
Mr Littleproud said Labor’s actions showed absolute contempt for the 3000 men and women of the live sheep export industry and reaffirmed The Nationals commitment to maintain the trade when re-elected.
The panel is due to report back to the Labor government by September 30. After holding meetings on Monday, it is travelling from Narrogin, through Katanning, Albany and Esperance from Tuesday 18 to Friday 21 April.
The meetings are also through “invitation only”, with no public engagement allowed.
“Labor should know farmers in WA need to travel many hours to attend and most are in the middle of seeding. You cannot organise meetings as important as this with this sort of notice ,” Mr Littleproud said.
“If Agriculture Minister Murray Watt and the Albanese Government were so confident of their decision and the science behind it, then the Minister should front public meetings himself and make sure it was genuine consultation. He should now show the courage to do that.
“The chair of the panel Phillip Glyde has admitted that the phase out meetings have been rushed. Mr Glyde has also publicly admitted shutting down the live sheep export trade would adversely impact farmers, which makes Minister Watt’s process even more contemptuous.
“WA Premier Mark McGowan has recently indicated support for the live sheep industry, given its reform, so it’s important he now puts some skin the game and brings his east coast counterparts to account.”

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