Live exporters 'can't keep hanging on'

Brad ThompsonThe West Australian

A leading Kimberley cattleman says he has all but given up hope of reaching a deal with foreign interests to invest in his station and warned that a wave of foreclosures was about to hit.

Yakka Munga owner Nathan Webb-Smith said dealing with Government-backed Chinese and Indonesian syndicates was often frustrating and fruitless.

Mr Webb-Smith has seen a joint venture deal with an Indonesian syndicate and the sale of his station 100km east of Broome to Chinese interests fall through in the past few months.

"The Chinese asked for a sale contract, the price was agreed and then they just went to ground," he said.

Get in front of tomorrow's news for FREE

Journalism for the curious Australian across politics, business, culture and opinion.


A group representing the East Javanese Government and a private firm visited Yakka Munga and were about to signoff on a partnership to supply cattle to Indonesia before pulling out.

"I think the floodgates will open eventually but there are not a lot of people signing cheques at the moment," Mr Webb-Smith said.

WA cattle producers and exporters are frustrated about Indonesia's failure to issue import permits for this month.

Mr Webb-Smith said the previous Government had not done enough to support the industry after the disastrous decision to impose a snap ban on cattle exports to Indonesia in 2011.

"There are going to be a lot of foreclosures very soon for producers nationwide in the live export industry," he said.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails