Fyfe kicking goals for livestock carriers

Zach Relph and Jackson Lavell-LeeCountryman
Fyfe Transport principal David Fyfe is the new Livestock and Rural Transport Association president.
Camera IconFyfe Transport principal David Fyfe is the new Livestock and Rural Transport Association president. Credit: Mogens Johansen

The father of a Brownlow medallist has taken the presidency of WA’s peak livestock hauling body.

Veteran owner-operator David Fyfe, of Lake Grace, was appointed the Livestock and Rural Transport Association’s new president at the group’s annual conference in Busselton on July 26.

The Fyfe Transport principal, whose son Nat is the Fremantle Dockers captain and the 2015 Brownlow medallist, replaced former top dog Andy Jacob as he prepares to relocate to the regional Victorian town of Echuca.

After officially taking the reins, Mr Fyfe said he wanted to use his role to help attract a new generation of workers into rural transport.

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“We need to encourage younger people into our industry and get them to enjoy being a transport operator,” he said.

“Transport operators are a bit like an old drover; you never know where you’re going to and where the day will take you.”

Mr Fyfe’s appointment comes as the State’s livestock carriers remain in limbo amid the country’s ongoing live-export industry dramas.

The livestock transport sector is among the industries along the live sheep trade’s supply chain to be hit after vision of dead and heat-stressed sheep aboard the Awassi Express emerged in April last year.

It led to a shipping standstill from June 6 to September 22 last year and the current three-month moratorium on voyages.

Mr Fyfe acknowledged the live- export controversy had generated a lull in work for owner-operators dependent on transporting sheep from farms to feedlots and then the Fremantle Port.

“We’ve had 12 months of fast education,” he said.

“Unfortunately, smaller operators have wound up with no work and have been impacted because of it.”

Mr Jacob cited family reasons alongside the live trade dilemmas as reasoning to relocate to Echuca.

Mr Jacob said he would remember his LRTA presidency tenure fondly as he embarked on the new Victorian chapter.

“It was really a tough decision, but I’m now looking forward to the future,” he said.

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