A Federal Liberal MP and cattle farmer in WA’s largest dairy farming region said farmers were “disgusted” by comments from State Agricultural Minster Alannah MacTiernan.
Forrest MHR Nola Marino has added her voice to calls to rebuke Ms MacTiernan over her comments that an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in WA would not be “catastrophic” to the State’s beef and dairy industries.
Her comments come just days after Liberal MP for O’Connor Rick Wilson called for Ms MacTiernan to be sacked over the remarks, saying she had ignored the fact the UK’s 2001 FMD outbreak caused six million cattle, sheep and pigs to be slaughtered.
Last week Ms MacTiernan told told The West Australian newspaper that the FMD threat must be kept “in perspective”, saying a WA outbreak might make milk and meat “cheaper”.
“It’s not going to stop milk or meat being available to us, and some people might argue it might actually make it cheaper because there’ll be more of it available domestically,” Ms MacTiernan told The West.
“We will still have a domestic industry. I would not say it would be catastrophic. It would be costly and very unfortunate. But even if it does happen, we can move beyond it.”
On Thursday WA Premier Mark McGowan again defended Ms MacTiernan, saying she had apologised for her “clumsy language”.
But Mrs Marino said farmers felt the comments showed Labor had “no understanding” of the potential impacts of an FMD outbreak on WA farmers and the supply chain.
“Every farmer I have spoken with has been absolutely disgusted and hurt by these comments which show Labor governments have no understanding of the devastating impact an FMD outbreak would have on our farmers, local businesses and regional communities,” Mrs Marino said.
Her Liberal colleague and Katanning wheat and sheep farmer Rick Wilson said an FMD outbreak would force the industry to shut down for at least six months.
“That would be a catastrophe for livestock producers, and flippantly claiming that consumers would be the winners is a typically metro-centric view of the world from the former Federal Member for Perth who has again shown she is incapable of holding the agriculture and food portfolio,” Mr Wilson said.
“For a so-called Minister for Agriculture to treat this issue in such a cavalier and careless manner indicates she is not fit in any way, shape or form to hold her current position.”
He also slammed her for failing to front an FMD forum for livestock producers in Mt Barker on July 19, and of ignoring the animal welfare implications of a potential outbreak.
“Ms MacTiernan talks a good game on animal welfare, but her scandalous comments ignore the fact that in the 2001 UK outbreak, which only infected a small number of properties, six million cattle, sheep and pigs were slaughtered and burnt over a period of seven months as part of broader control measures,” Mr Wilson said.
Source: South Western Times
The fences at the highly anticipated youth precinct on the Bunbury Foreshore came down yesterday, with hundreds of families making the most of the sunshine.
The more than $8 million Bunbury Youth Precinct was open for the first time at the weekend ahead of its name being revealed on Thursday.
The City of Bunbury said they were pleased to open the Luciana Park hub, which boasts a multi-sports court, parkour areas, mini-golf, a youth services building, beach climbing net, event and performance space and more.
The project was funded through $4.5 million from Bunbury City Council, a $2.5m grant from Lotterywest, $1.2m from the Federal Government’s Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program and a grant from the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries.
The City said the project was driven by the community and Bunbury’s Youth Advisory Council.
Bunbury father Mick Byrne said the inclusive design of the park meant kids like his five-year-old son Will, who is wheelchair-bound, had a safe and accessible space to play.
“It gives him another place we can take him where it’s safe,” Mr Byrne said.
The project was initially set to be open last summer but was forced to be pushed back because of delayed builder availability, and manufacturing and materials supply issues because of COVID.
The City said a major opening event will be held later this year in October, but the name of the precinct will be announced on Thursday.
The community is invited to start using the area from 2pm on Thursday with a coffee van and DJ on site, along with the opportunity for tours of the new space.
Source: Bunbury Herald
Forrest MHR Nola Marino has been rewarded with the role of Shadow Assistant Education Minister after retaining her safe seat despite Labor’s dominant election victory.
Mrs Marino held the role of Chief Government Whip from 2015-2019, serving as Assistant Minister for Regional Development and Territories under the Morrison Government from 2019 until the election.
“I am very pleased to serve as Shadow Assistant Minister for Education, having an enduring interest in this portfolio in relation to rural and regional Australia, such as better access to Youth Allowance” Mrs Marino said.
“I will continue my advocacy for cyber safety awareness in schools, as well as broader issues in education, and I look forward to working closely with my colleagues in the Coalition Shadow Ministry.”
O’Connor MHR Rick Wilson was handed the role of Shadow Assistant Trade Minister and said he felt privileged being asked to serve in the shadow cabinet.
“It’s a privilege to be asked to serve in this role as Shadow Assistant Trade Minister by the Leader of the Opposition Peter Dutton,” Mr Wilson said.
“Australia has always been a trading nation; and a key part of my role will be to ensure the new Government continues to build upon the great work done by the Coalition over the past nine
years in opening up new market and trade opportunities.
“While I will be viewing the role from an Australia wide perspective; trade is also vitally important for the mining, agricultural, manufacturing and tourism sectors across my electorate of
Fellow West Australian MP Andrew Hastie has been named in Mr Dutton’s frontbench, with the Canning MHR to serve as shadow defence minister.
Source: Harvey-Waroona Reporter