The Northern Cattle Industry is heavily reliant on the live export trade. The live export cattle trade in WA is reliant on the 120 pastoral stations which are spread across the Kimberley and Pilbara which include forty-one indigenous owned properties. Its an important trade that underwrites the prosperity of these businesses.
But the industry is under threat from the animal activists as they seek to destroy the trade out of the largest and most comprehensively monitored live exporting nations in the world. Sometime in the next 5 years we face the real risk of a rerun of what we saw in 2011, when the Gillard government over-reacted to the demands of extremist groups and shut down the trade, but next time it will be permanent.
If the government were to do this they would be some serious economic and social implications for not just pastoral business’s but also to indigenous communities linked to the trade.
We have recently seen what happens when indigenous managed properties fail to re-invest the proceeds from the current cattle boom, cattle suffer and die. We also know the social ramifications when indigenous youth in the north lack job opportunities – real jobs not make work jobs or job opportunities in careers that they aspire to. Kids drop out and it’s a long hard road to bring them back.
Just as we know the animal activists have shown no interest for the suffering of the cattle on indigenous stations in our north, it’s difficult to imagine that they would care about the suffering of the kids who no longer have jobs on these stations.
Will the animal activists then step in when the money runs out on the stations once they panic the politicians into over reacting again. If they are ultimately successful in shutting down the trade, who will keep the windmills working and the grog shut off when the jobs dry up.
Animal activist groups (like Animals Australia) live in an inner-city bubble where food comes from the organic section of their high-end farmer’s market, while the real-world realities of livestock, supporting life are easy to ignore.
No live export of cattle has real world implications; it means the value of cattle stations will collapse, the fences and water infrastructure that is essential to animal welfare will fall into disrepair as will the jobs for the indigenous jack and jillaroos.
If Australia is serious about indigenous recognition and self-determination, they won’t allow animal activist organisations even more success on top of what they are currently experiencing in destroying the live sheep trade.
What they are seeking to achieve by shutting down all live exports will destroy a key part of the long-term viability of the largest segment of indigenous enterprise in Australia being commercial cattle stations.
This is akin to stealing the future from the children. We have done it once – we should not allow it to happen again -what these activists are doing is imposing inner city left-green job destroying values on people that should be producing cattle for live export.
Animal activists are intent on destroying the live sheep trade which will in turn destroy jobs in the South. And when they are finished with the South they will turn on the cattle trade out of the North.
The consequences of this are such that we need the State and Federal Ministers to stand up now and say. enough is enough! Its time to support the trade.