WA sheep exports are set to resume next month after Rural Export and Trading WA (RETWA) received approval from the Federal regulator for its export licence.
Member for O’Connor Rick Wilson welcomed the news as a win for the livelihood of families in regional Western Australia.
“Many sheep producers have felt uncertain about the future of the trade and this is a step in the right direction to help restore public confidence in the industry,” Mr Wilson said.
“The Government has implemented regulation changes that ensure Australia continues to take a leadership position on live exports which is vital to ensure sheep producers continue to have commercial options for their livestock.
“It is now up to live exporters to back their claim of being the best in the world.”
RETWA is the Australian subsidiary of Kuwait Livestock Transport and Trading (KLTT), Australia’s largest live sheep customer which operates in Kuwait as Al Mawashi.
KLTT’s two AMSA-accredited livestock vessels, the Al Shuwaikh and the Al Messilah, are anchored near Perth awaiting livestock.
In line with revised loading requirements announced by DAWR and applicable from November 1, sheep exported will be stocked at least 17.5 per cent below the rate set out in the Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock (ASEL).
The Live Sheep Export trade is worth $250 million to the Australian economy, with more than 60 per cent of this income generated in Mr Wilson’s electorate of O’Connor.
Mr Wilson tabled a petition in parliament last month with almost 1000 signatures, urging the House of Representatives to investigate the importance of the live sheep export trade and to focus on the likely impacts of either ending or significantly reducing the industry.
“It was important to draw the attention of my colleagues, particularly those in metro seats, about the uncertainty facing the sheep industry and the regional communities that would be affected.”