When the Australian Wool Reserve Price Scheme collapsed in 1991, industry was left to deal with a stockpile of more than four million with little value wool bales.
As a result devastated graziers across the country were forced to cull their flock because it made economic sense.
Now WA producers are facing a similar crisis, only with a depressed market and an oversupply of hundreds of thousands of sheep, off the back of the Labor government's proposed live sheep export by sea ban.
Corrigin stud breeder and The Livestock Collective director Steve Bolt said this was the stark reality of what WA's sheep industry was facing - and the outlook was grim.
He blamed the state of industry on government interference and said it was time for Federal Agriculture Minister Murray Watt to "stand up and take responsibility for the disaster his government policy had created".
Mr Bolt said a human welfare and mental health crisis had also been created by the policy, as sheep producers deal with the seasonal conditions and challenging selling environment.
He blasted claims the oversupply of sheep in WA had been caused by the drought and said government was ignoring the impossible situation the pending live export ban had created for industry.
"Growers were already carrying over too many sheep from last year, when there weren't enough boats or processing capacity," Mr Bolt said.
"And now with poor seasonal conditions and a lack of feed, there is still not enough capacity for growers to sell surplus stock.
"This has left them in an unknown situation as to what to do with all of these sheep."
Mr Bolt has had conversations with several concerned growers hit hard by uncertainty and lack of clarity about the proposed phase-out and its timeline.
"How did industry get to this point?" he said.
"We got to this point because the government took this position to phase-out the live export trade and it is getting worse everyday, compounded with incredibly high grain prices."
Looking ahead, with the poor seasonal conditions and huge number of producers who have considered not mating ewes, Mr Bolt believes there could be a 30 per cent reduction in lambs available for the trade in WA next year.
He said this would have consequences on the processing and exporting sectors - and all associated industries.
"Agents and truck drivers are flat out, but go around in 18 months time and what the bloody hell will we all be doing?" Mr Bolt said.
"This is what I've been telling the government for the past five years, I said if you go down this path this is what is going to happen.
"I said there will be a time when the Eastern States market won't be available, with the potential of no live export and in a drought situation, what will we do with all the sheep to prevent environmental and onfarm welfare damage?"
Mr Bolt added, "that's where we are at and the only thing that will undo it is a change of policy".
"That's the only thing that could prevent some people from offloading a large number of breeding ewes and exiting the industry," he said.
"We are heading down a one-way disastrous road and once again it is all consequences for industry, but no responsibility by government."
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