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  • ASHEEP & BEEF

Meeting with Premier & Minister for Agriculture

On Thursday 2nd May Premier Roger Cook, Minister for Agriculture Jackie Jarvis, and Hon. Shelley Payne met with ASHEEP & BEEF grower group Chair David Vandenberghe and Executive Officer Sarah Brown, along with others in the sheep industry, to discuss current issues.


The meeting followed a request from ASHEEP & BEEF to meet with Premier Cook and Minister Jarvis, and was arranged by Hon. Shelley Payne, who sought to bring together a range of people throughout her electorate who had been raising concerns.


Attendees included:

  • Premier Hon. Roger Cook MLA

  • Minister for Agriculture Hon. Jackie Jarvis MLC

  • Hon. Shelley Payne MLC

  • David Vandenberghe, Chair, ASHEEP & BEEF and Sheep Farmer (Esperance)

  • Sarah Brown, Executive Officer, ASHEEP & BEEF (Esperance)

  • Phil Blight, Shire President Shire of Wagin, Sheep Farmer, WALGA Central Country Zone representative to WALGA State Council (Wagin)

  • Andrew Scanlon, Sheep Farmer (Wagin)

  • Karen Harrington, Deputy Shire President and Sheep Farmer (Darkan)

  • Jeremy King, Sheep Farmer (Darkan)

  • Dr Craig Heggaton, Vet / Owner, GenStock (attending on behalf of Dr Michylla Seal) (Kojonup)

  • Mitch Clarke, Elders Agent (Darkan)


Left to right - Sarah Brown, Phil Blight, Karen Harrington, Mitch Clarke, Jeremy King, Andrew Scanlon, Craig Heggaton at Dumas House to meet with Premier Cook and Minister Jarvis. David Vandenberghe and Shelley Payne joined online.

Key to discussions were seasonal challenges, processing backlogs, and the disruption caused by the federal government’s live sheep export phase out policy, which is having a significant negative impact on industry confidence, investment and putting added downward pressure on the market.


Solutions to alleviate pressure were discussed. Those attending emphasised the need for the state government to assist getting store and mutton sheep out of the state in the immediate term, as well as for Premier Cook and Minister Jarvis to lobby the federal government to release the sheep live export phase out policy consultation report. It was reiterated that the sheep live export phase out policy was poorly considered and would leave WA’s sheep industry in a less resilient position if it was implemented, and that the federal government’s position and lack of transparency has been hugely damaging.


ASHEEP & BEEF thanks Premier Cook, Minister Jarvis, and Shelley Payne for the opportunity to meet. Discussion was constructive and we look forward to understanding what actions will be taken.


The state government has recently released hardship grants, interest free loans, and established a dry season taskforce. Premier Cook and Minister Jarvis advised that they plan to undertake further action in consultation with the dry season taskforce.


There is strong and growing demand for WA meat and wool, our sheep industry produces world class food and fibre, but decisive action needs to be taken now so that we are positioned to take advantage of future opportunity.


Stud Merino Breeders Association of WA and Compass Agricultural Alliance submitted letters to the Premier to conincide with the meeting.


Media: David Vandenberghe is available to comment for ASHEEP & BEEF. Contact Sarah Brown via eo@asheepbeef.org.au to request an interview.

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