The Nationals WA hosted a roundtable discussion on agriculture at State Parliament today.
The Federal Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Hon. David Littleproud attended the meeting along with more than 20 industry stakeholders from across the State.
Leader Mia Davies said Mr Littleproud’s trip to WA was a chance for farmers, business owners, stock agents and local government representatives to speak with the Federal Minister face-to-face.
“In recent days our team has joined the Minister for a series of visits into the Wheatbelt, hosted by WAFarmers, brought together stakeholders for a dinner and hosted a roundtable forum this morning,” Ms Davies said.
“This was Mr Littleproud’s third visit to WA since becoming Minister 10 months ago and I am pleased he has met with farmers and industry representatives in-person and on-farm.
“Mr Littleproud was forthright when answering questions on live export, saying he was determined to put the industry on a sustainable footing to ensure it survives.”
Agriculture spokesperson Colin de Grussa said issues raised at today’s forum included the need for certainty and consistency in the live sheep industry and associated sectors such as feed production, shearing and transport.
“The feedback was that greater information sharing between the Federal Agriculture Department and industry was needed when it comes to independent observers being placed on live export boats, as well as other conditions from the Moss and ASEL reviews,” Mr de Grussa said.
Other issues raised with the Minister were the importance of protecting the livestock industry from wild dogs, greater harmonisation of State and Federal laws to promote irrigated agriculture in WA’s north and addressing the growing country-city divide.
“Education was also raised as one of the strategies needed to improve community understanding of the sector,” Mr de Grussa said.
“There was feedback that we need to invest more heavily in training our farmers to be more resilient through tough times and to build their business credentials in order to withstand unforeseen shocks.
“There’s also a thirst among the industry to celebrate and promote the successes of agriculture to ensure all West Australians are keenly aware of how important the sector is to the State’s economy.”