Wednesday, June 19, 2024


Mackay and Whitsunday Life



Returning from Western Australia earlier this week, Federal Member for Dawson Andrew Willcox said it is now clear that this “Albanese Labor Government wants Australian farmers to flock off.”
“Make no mistake about it. They have decimated our fishing industry in Queensland, they are now attacking our live sheep exports in WA, and cattle exports will be next across Australia,” Mr Willcox said.
“Over 3,000 farmers, families, and children from all around Australia turned out to send Labor a message that ending live sheep exports will decimate their livelihoods.
“It’s very simple. Farmers move with supply and demand and change practices accordingly and the Government has no right to interfere in that market because of politics. 
“Australia has the world’s best practices in live export, and the world wants our product, so why is Labor standing in the middle of that.”
Mr Willcox travelled across Australia to see and listen to those personally affected by this “bad policy” and made sure he could arrive in WA on time to tour a live sheep export vessel so he could see the situation for himself.
“I unfortunately had to reschedule a lot of events in my electorate, but this decision is important and important to all of Australia,” Mr Willcox said.

“I made sure I arrived in time to tour the MV Dareen vessel and see for myself the state of the sheep and cattle and the cleanliness of the ship. I also had the opportunity to sit with Dr. Roeger who has been a vet on these vessels for over 30 years and hear about the misinformation being peddled by activist groups.
“I can confidently say the staff on these vessels care more about the welfare of the sheep and cattle than Labor does about Australia,” Mr Willcox said.
During the inquiry Mr Willcox was “bewildered” by Labor’s thought process that meat processing facilities would just pop up to process the frozen meat, when one hasn’t been built in WA for 30 years.

When asked why, Mr Willcox explained it is because it is purely not economical.

“The market for frozen sheep meat is not there, and there is no confidence in this Government.
“Confidence in investment is at an all-time low because what is stopping this Labor Government from interfering with an abattoir because they just don’t like the look of their feedlot pens.
“A dangerous precedent is being set here that Australians will allow this level of Government interference in a world market.”
Mr Willcox explained the emotional impact this is having on our citizens is real and that was felt in the hearing.

“It was very difficult at times to hear the stories of those living this nightmare and trying to make sense of this situation.”
“Of the $107 million compensation package that Labor has announced, we still have no clear indication how much of that will be placed into the mental health of the communities and who will deliver those services on the ground.
“Over 11,000 submissions have been made in under one week to the inquiry and a report to be handed down on the 21st of June.
“I am not sure about you, but the timeframes of which this inquiry has been stipulated is a prime example of the disrespect this Albanese Labor Government has for Australian farmers.
“We will continue pushing for a Senate Inquiry on this legislation because that is what our farmers and our communities deserve,” Mr Willcox said.

In other news