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‘Cheap political points’: WA Farmers slam Premier for COVID-19 ship crackdown

Liam Bartlett
Article image for ‘Cheap political points’: WA Farmers slam Premier for COVID-19 ship crackdown

The WA Farmers Federation says there’s been no consultation with key stake holders over the state government’s decision to stop ships from entering WA waters from high-risk locations, such as Indonesia.

On Friday, Premier Mark McGowan rolled out a series of new rules for ships and said he reserves the right to deny vessels entry into the state if COVID-19 is found on board.

WA Farmers CEO Trevor Whittington said the industry was not consulted before the rules were implemented.

“In the last 12 months there has been 26,179 arrivals into Australia, only 15 of those ships have had COVID,” he told Liam Bartlett.

“Why the Premier has come out with this, other than to score some cheap political points, we don’t know.

“But it is embarrassing for us, and it is very disappointing for Western Australia.”

He said the rules could have a significant impact on WA’s trade relationship with Indonesia, and threaten the future of wheat and cattle exports.

“This is a highly sensitive relationship, I suspect the Premier wouldn’t be doing anything like this if it was China,” Mr Whittington said.

“Indonesia seems to be expendable.”

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Liam Bartlett
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