THE Federal National Party leader has extended an invitation to Western Australia's Premier to work together to ensure the future of Australia's live export industry.
Only a few weeks into the role as the National Party's new leader, David Littleproud said he would be available "any day of the week" to discuss the issue of live export with Mark McGowan, following Federal Labor's proposal to phase out the industry.
"I have got to say thank you to the Premier for your maturity in this debate," Mr Littleproud said.
"I've made an invitation and I haven't heard back from him, but I get that he is a busy man.
"I actually congratulate him for the leadership role that he has played in understanding the industry.
"I think this an opportunity for us to rise above the petty politics and name calling and simply say to the Premier, I'm here to help."
When asked if he would be discussing the issue of live export with Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan, who previously said a ban on the live export of sheep was "inevitable", Mr Littleproud said it wasn't the minister that he had to convince.
"I get Alannah MacTiernan has a philosophical view against the live export industry, she has had it for a long time," he said.
"I don't have to convince her, I need to convince Federal Labor, and I think Mark McGowan and I can work together, hand in glove, to work in Canberra and make sure east coast politicians aren't telling Western Australians what to do."
Mr Littleproud said Australia's live export industry move from a mortality method to an animal welfare method had been backed by science.
"We can measure the pants per minute in those pens on those boats - that is something we should be profoundly proud of - that we have lifted the bar here in Australia," he said.
Mr Littleproud highlighted that if Australia were to opt out of the live export trade, that the nation would be exporting its animal welfare standards to countries that have lesser standards than our own.
"We believe in the live animal export of not only sheep, but cattle, because we have a judicial responsibility as a good global citizen to do it," he said.
Livestock Collective managing director Holly Ludeman said Australia's live export industry had created exceptional animal welfare outcomes.
"The voyage that left in May has just finished discharge with not only exceptionally low mortality rates, but really excellent animal welfare outcomes," Ms Ludeman said.
"This demonstrates that the industry has improved and done everything asked of it.
"This industry is really important to WA, to our shearers, to our truck drivers, our producers and for land management."
Ms Ludeman said phasing out the live export trade would also have flow-on effects for the nation's processors, with Western Australia's processors already struggling to find enough workers.
"We have come so far - the industry we are (now) is not the industry we were in 2019 when Labor took that policy," she said.
"It is a different industry and we need a different discussion."
Ms Ludeman said improvements to the nation's live export trade included the addition of independent auditors, independent observers of vessels, ventilation systems, vessel improvements as well as changes to how success is measured in the animal welfare outcomes of the voyages.
"The sheep, which were discharged in the Middle East this week, are in exceptional condition and our importers are really thankful for food security," Ms Ludeman said.
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