Premier in live export pledge for Freo

Brad ThompsonThe West Australian
Livestock ship Al Shuwaikh pictured in Fremantle Port.
Camera IconLivestock ship Al Shuwaikh pictured in Fremantle Port. Credit: Steve Ferrier/The West Australian.

Premier Colin Barnett has promised farmers the live export industry will thrive if Fremantle Port is sold.

Mr Barnett told Parliament yesterday that the sale would boost live exports through a purpose-built and high-quality facility in the outer harbour.

His comments appeared a calculated response to Nationals WA deputy leader Mia Davies raising concerns about the sale and its impact on live exports.

Mr Barnett said the sale would resolve a major issue for farmers and exporters, who often clash with Fremantle residents opposed to the trade.

“From the privatisation of Fremantle Port, investment will go into a dedicated, high-standard animal welfare facility for the live export trade away from the inner harbour,” he said.

“The privatisation has got a direct benefit to farmers in this State for what is a growth sector in agriculture.”

WA Livestock Exporters Association chairman Harold Sealy said the industry was excited about the prospect of new facilities, but wanted to know the details. Mr Sealy has asked for a meeting with Treasurer Mike Nahan to discuss the plan.

Mr Barnett said the industry was at risk if Labor won power.

Shadow agriculture minister Mick Murray said Labor was not opposed to live export, but would encourage onshore processing.

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