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Joint Statement: Outrage around the Government's complete lack of awareness for the mental health and livelihoods of our regional Australians.

Today’s announcement by the Commonwealth has shown a complete disregard for our people and a lack of understanding and awareness of the current situation within Western Australia (WA). Sheep Producers Australia and WoolProducers Australia as the peak industry councils will continue to unite and fight against this ridiculous policy and fight for the people whose livelihoods and mental health are being destroyed.


“What we have seen today is a government so removed from agriculture and the people who work in and rely on this industry. Instead, the government chooses to add to the burden of the current situation - enough is enough.” Jo Hall CEO WoolProducers Australia.


Labor is blindly sticking to a minor election commitment; despite all the evidence and data this policy cannot be implemented without causing devastation to our regional communities only to serve a preference deal - where is the commitment by Labor to their key election promise to “leave no Australian behind.”


“This is an issue of precedent and trust, not just for the Australian sheep industry but for Australian agriculture. If the industry and regional communities are to have faith that there will be “No one held back, no one left behind” under the current Government, public policy processes must be evidence-based, strategic, inclusive, and collaborative. This announcement further erodes what little trust existed between producers and the federal government and this will leave them and their rural communities behind.” Bonnie Skinner CEO Sheep Producers Australia.


“What we are seeing play out is a complete disregard for what is currently happening in WA. The timing of this announcement cements the Commonwealth's utter lack of understanding of our industry. Producers are seeding, carting water, supplementary feeding, and many currently lambing, how much more stress are they expected to bear?” Jo Hall.


“The impact of this announcement today is immense - clarification is needed on next steps. We have kept the government regularly informed of the challenges WA producers are facing for the past twelve months. It is bitterly disappointing to see the media make this announcement before industry is briefed. Where is the respect for human welfare – for people’s lives and livelihoods? We will continue to fight for our people and our industry.” Bonnie Skinner.


END

 

Media contacts:


Sheep Producers Australia Annie Frisch media@sheepproducers.com.au 0455 999 133


WoolProducers Australia Jo Hall ceo@woolproducers.com.au 0488 554 811



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