Barnaby flies into WA to back farmers in live sheep row
Former deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce is set to cause another headache for the Federal Government, heading to WA to back farmers battling the growing threat to the live sheep trade.
Mr Joyce’s impending arrival in WA is causing angst among WA Nationals MPs, who were among the first to demand he resign amid the fallout from his affair with former staffer, Vicky Campion.
Mr Joyce told The West Australian yesterday that if the live sheep trade was ended, the live cattle trade would be next.
He stopped short of commenting directly on the Federal Government’s decision to revoke the export licence of WA live sheep company Emanuel Exports.
“If you shut down the live sheep trade ... the next step taken will be to shut down the cattle trade,” Mr Joyce said.
“Then it will be the transport industry.” Mr Joyce claimed that as Federal agriculture minister he had revitalised the live trade after the Gillard government’s temporary ban on exports to Indonesia.
Mr Joyce took aim at fellow Federal coalition MP Sussan Ley, who is pursuing a private member’s Bill to ban live sheep exports. “There are a lot of people in Sussan Ley’s electorate calling me asking what she is doing,” he said.
Mr Joyce, who will travel to WA with Ms Campion, will join sheep farmers and industry leaders at a forum in Katanning tomorrow.
WA Nationals leader Mia Davies, who led calls for Mr Joyce to resign as Federal Nationals leader, is also set to attend. “The feedback we’re getting from sheep producers is that industry needs to be appropriately regulated and they support actions that will ensure the trade has a sustainable future,” Ms Davies said.
“Anything less than a united front will leave this sector more vulnerable to the attacks of Animals Australia and those opposed to live trade.”
Agriculture Minister Alannah MacTiernan will attend.
She said she was looking forward to seeing Mr Joyce explain how his failure to regulate the live export industry had led to the exposure of cruel practices.
“I presume he is going to apologise for how his complete lack of supervision of the industry led to this chaos,” she said.
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