In a first for LambEx, held at Perth, Western Australia, the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, David Littleproud, has addressed delegates announcing a $1.5 million funding packing for pests and weeds for drought declared farmers in WA.
“We, as a federal government, are making a whole of a nation response to this drought. It has been a cancer that is going right the eastern states and today we are understanding that there has been some challenges here in WA,” Mr Littleproud said.
“A know dog fencing is as popular here as it is in my home state of Queensland and we know the benefits that they bring.
“I have seen numbers go from seven per cent lambing up to 85 – that is putting real productivity back into farms.”
His message to farmers was about building resilience from one drought to the next.
“This is an important investment in WA and an important investment for sheep farmers right across the state,” he said.
Mr Littleproud said it was important that he come across to WA to give clarity and certainty to farmers and address producers directly about the challenges they are facing in terms of the live trade.
Last week, Mr Littleproud came under fire from producers and exporters in Western Australia for his handling of the current live export saga. Read more here.
But the Minister stressed the live export business was open and would remain open while the current government was in place.
“There is no backing away from it and we will make sure that we get this right,” Mr Littleproud said.
“We won’t back away from animal welfare – it’s important that we prove to the nation and the world that we can get this right.”
He called on any exporter to put their hand up to get a ship and prove to the world that Western Australia was ready and open for exports.
“It is a free market place and the reality is I have spoken to a number of our customers in other nations and they are more than keen for our sheep,” he said.
“We have the best in the world – they are clean, they are healthy and they want them. The reality is for an exporter, if they step up, the business is there and the market is open.”
Chair of 2018 LambEx Bindi Murray said the first time presence of the Agricultural Minister at LambEx was not only a sign of growth and confidence in the industry, but also in the event.