The Nationals WA have called on Alannah MacTiernan to resign as Minister for Agriculture and Food.
Leader Mia Davies moved a motion in Parliament late on Thursday calling for the Minister to step down, saying she had lost the confidence of the sector.
“While the agricultural sector is pragmatic and willing to work with whoever is in Government to achieve outcomes, the overwhelming feedback we are getting on the ground is frustration and concern that the Minister is actively undermining the industry’s best interests,” Ms Davies said.
Ms Davies said the State’s two biggest industry groups – WA Famers and the Pastoralists and Graziers Association of WA – had both expressed dwindling confidence in the Minister’s capacity to perform the job.
“Under the stewardship of Alannah MacTiernan, WA’s agriculture sector is lurching from crisis to crisis,” she said.
“I share the Federal Minister’s concern that the raid by Ms MacTiernan’s department of Emanuel Exports headquarters could undermine an active Federal investigation and question the Minister’s motivation for pursuing this action.
“Likewise, we see documents tabled by the Minister in the Legislative Council from the Qatari Ambassador making it expressly clear they prefer live sheep over chilled meat. The Ambassador said his country expects the support of its friends and partners, particularly in relation to issues of food security, in ways that ensure benefits for the peoples of both sides.”
Ms Davies said the Premier’s statement in Parliament yesterday that the Minister was trying to “save the industry from itself” was arrogant.
Member for Warren-Blackwood, and former Minister for Agriculture, Terry Redman said the current Minister was pursuing a personal agenda that put her at odds with the industry and regional communities.
“The Nationals WA have heard firsthand from farmers and the communities they support that the Minister’s opposition to GMO, regenerative agriculture and playing politics with dog fence funding for the Esperance region is wearing thin,” Mr Redman said.
“In the case of live export, our farmers all demand and expect a high standard of animal welfare across the supply chain but their livelihoods are being undermined by a State Agriculture Minister who does not appear to be acting in their interest.”
Approximately 2500 farmers produce and export sheep from WA, representing about 85 per cent of the nation’s live sheep trade.
“The Premier has been derelict in his duty by allowing the Minister, who should be championing this industry, to actively undermine it,” Mr Redman said.