PLANNING and Infrastructure Minister Alannah MacTiernan has poured cold water on a tentative proposal by Al Mukairish Australia to export live sheep though the Port of Bunbury.
The Minister said in Parliament recently that the Bunbury Port Authority would need community support and environmental approvals to proceed with the proposal.
Ms MacTiernan said that while she supported the Bunbury Port Authority's efforts to develop its business, community interests also needed to be recognised.
She understood there was strong opposition to the idea from Bunbury residents.
Ms MacTiernan also said the WA economy could be better served if exports of chilled meat could be expanded.
WA National party leader Max Trenorden said while he acknowledged the importance of community support from people in Bunbury and the South West, the Minister shouldn't make assurances that live exports wouldn't go ahead.
He said it would be inappropriate for Ms MacTiernan to exert undue influence or interference in the port authority's administrative business and was contrary to the Government's own accountability standards.
"Any interference from the Minister is completely inappropriate," he said.
Mr Trenorden said sheep producers depended on live export markets and that Minister should also note possible economic benefits of live sheep exporting to both the port and the community.
Al Mukairish Australia WA manager John Edwards said another submission had also been lodged with the local shire to set up an assembly point at Kemerton.
He said it was fairly well acknowledged in industry that live exporters would eventually have to leave Fremantle.