12 May 2024.

Industry is reeling over the fact that primary producers were told of the fate of the Australian live sheep export trade at the same time as the activists and the anti-agriculture groups that the Australian Labor Party pandered to when making an ill-conceived 2022 Election promise. 

“For the Minister to spend the last week with Queensland’s agricultural industry in Rockhampton and not provide warning that a sheep live export industry briefing, including a decision, was to be held the morning directly after Beef Week is disingenuous.” AgForce General President Georgie Somerset said. “It is appalling treatment to an industry sector that will return billions of dollars to the Australian economy over time.” 

Stephen Tully, AgForce Sheep, Wool and Goats President agreed, “A May 1, 2028, timeframe to cease live sheep exports is a complete kick in the guts for Western Australia’s sheep producers….a measly 4 years!”

“The Australian government should be ashamed.” 

“How is industry and its partners expected to successfully transition in this short timeframe? This decision is evidence that the Federal government has no understanding of the live sheep export trade, the economic stimulus it provides to the Australian economy, nor the significant benefit it provides in feeding the populations of our Middle Eastern trading partners.” 

“Clearly, the Minister has not listened to industry.”  

AgForce has strongly opposed the Australian government’s policy position to ban the live export of sheep by sea and will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with industry’s peak bodies and the farming organisations around Australia, to continue this fight.

“Australian agriculture should be concerned with trade repercussions on other commodities.” Ms Somerset stated. “The short sightedness of this announcement is a significant risk.”

In AgForce’s submission to the “Phase out of live sheep exports by sea” Consultation Panel, it stated that the Australian Labor Party would do well to remember its own Election campaign mantra: “No one is left behind”. 

With the announcement, the Federal government has completely disregarded the sheep producers of Western Australia. 

“A pitiful $107 million assistance package will do little to numb the pain.” Stephen Tully AgForce.