Call for government to open Iran market

31 Aug, 2012 02:00 AM
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WA Live Exporters Association chairman John Edwards said Iran certainly used to be a strong export market for Australian sheep but was unsure if the demand was still there.
WA Live Exporters Association chairman John Edwards said Iran certainly used to be a strong export market for Australian sheep but was unsure if the demand was still there.

FORMER Kalgoorlie MP Graeme Campbell believes the federal government needs to act to open up Iran as a potential market for live sheep exports.

Having recently returned from a trip to Iran, Mr Campbell believes the opportunity exists to export live sheep to Iran through the Iranian free trade island of Qeshm just off the Iranian coast.

With Iran having a population of roughly 80 million people and considering the country is currently taking no livestock at all, Mr Campbell believes the prospects are exciting.

"It could be the largest market for live sheep Australia has," he said.

"Having met with the Qeshm free trade authority there is absolutely no doubt they have the power to authorise the importation of live sheep."

Mr Campbell said the Australian Quarantine Inspection Service (AQIS) had already supported the exportation of Tier 1 boxed lamb to Qeshm and said once the meat was there, it could go anywhere in Iran.

"Still they refuse to support live exports, it doesn't make sense," he said.

Having come back to Australia with the support of the Qeshm Free Trade Authority, Mr Campbell said he hit a brick wall with the Federal Government refusing to support the livestock trade.

He said there needed to be a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed with the central government in Tehran, before live exports to Iran could occur.

Having spoken to the office of Federal Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig, Mr Campbell said he had offered to bring to Australia a high level delegation that would contain people from the Iranian Central Government and Qeshm free trade area to sign the MOU and get the ball rolling however he said the government was "not interested".

Mr Campbell said he couldn't understand why there was an issue with exports to the area and said biosecurity wouldn't be an issue because Iran had the same diseases Australia already had, plus Qeshm was an island.

"I am fed up with the lack of care this government has for the rural sector," he said.

"This government has stuffed Indonesia, it's stuffed Saudi Arabia, and now it won't let us develop Iran."

But WA Live Exporters Association chairman John Edwards said he wasn't sure what the demand would be like from Iran for Australian sheep.

"Iran was certainly a healthy sheep market for Australia from the 1970s for about eight or nine years," Mr Edwards said.

"These days Iran was now a net exporter of sheep to UAE markets."

Mr Edwards said while he was aware of some Australian exporters making commercial inquiries in Iran, there were moves afoot by the Federal Government to possibly develop a health protocol and a MOU with Iran.

"At the moment Iran isn't even Export Supply Chain Assurance Scheme (ESCAS) approved, so there is a long way to go," he said.

"These things take time.

"Graeme Campbell can say what he likes but these are the realities of working through the federal government to develop new markets, it can't just happen overnight."

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READER COMMENTS

Percy
31/08/2012 10:21:16 AM, on Farm Weekly

Joe seems only interested in making farmers poor one way or another. Maybe this is because they are the bastions of free enterprise, something not liked in communist countries.
Brad Bellinger
31/08/2012 6:43:28 PM, on Farm Weekly

This is a very good article.What the hell is our government doing.They are put in charge of this country to help its people not hinder their progress and trade.Here is your chance opposition hammer them on this,then a full inquiry as to why the government is hindering trade.
C & S
1/09/2012 8:10:30 AM, on Farm Weekly

This government has stuffed Indonesia, it's stuffed Saudi Arabia, and now it won't let us develop Iran." ...........For over 30 years you have been sending animals on a one way ticket to hell, you can not even meet basic animal welfare to these countries, so you pass on the blame to someone else. You just look GREEDY and UNCARING.
ja
3/09/2012 11:43:04 AM, on Farm Weekly

The green faction in the labor party and the green party want all agriculture and manufacturing eliminated from this country. They have many times stated this to the media. That is the basis for the decisions the labor party make. Much like cutting off all water to the Mildura area so they can force out the farmers, and starve 100 million people around the world who depend on our agriculture to keep alive. And as farmers are not unionized, the unions also would like to see the end of agriculture in Australia.
Kathleen
6/09/2012 6:42:27 PM, on Farm Weekly

Now there are calls by MP Graeme Campbell to open the Iran market as well.It seems he isn't satisfied with all the other countries in the Middle East we send our poor sheep to suffer appalling cruelty at the hands of these ignorant butchers.And as for the [MOU] it was simply used as an opener to quieten community concerns.It was always going to be about trade -never about the atrocious cruelty to our animals.

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