The closure of the historic Quoiba saleyards near Devonport has left Tasmania’s farmers and the red meat industry in a perilous state, with urgent action needed to save the local industry.
Shadow Minister for Primary Industries Shane Broad said after standing by as the abattoir shut, the government must now step in and ensure the region gets a new, multi-species abattoir.
“The loss of the Quoiba saleyards will have a huge impact on the North West Coast region,” Dr Broad said.
“But, unfortunately, it’s an entirely predictable outcome of the government standing by and watching as yet another key livestock industry asset prepared to close.
“Tasmania’s red meat industry is at the crossroads and, without government action, smaller players will exit the industry and we will be a one-saleyard state, with the majority of stock shipped and processed on the mainland.
“The government should look to Labor’s COVID-19 Recovery Package, which recommends a grant round under the Industry Innovation Co-investment Fund for matched investment in innovation and diversification projects, including in the red meat industry.
“Our package is about getting people back into jobs and supporting our local businesses to create a better, fairer Tasmania, and both the industry and the North West region are desperate for support.
“We know the closure of Quoiba means farmers will have to pay more to transport their stock to sale, will have to spend the whole day travelling if they want to buy any stock, and butchers will struggle to buy locally. “
“The impact of the saleyard closure goes far beyond the trading of livestock, as the weekly sales are often the only social contact many farmers have with each other.
“Regular community events like sale days are important to the social fabric of our communities and the economic consequences of the closure of the Quoiba saleyards will have a big local impact.
“The Liberals’ lack of action has left our community with even more pain on top of the devastation of the COVID-19 outbreak. I call on the government to step in and help get a new, multi-species abattoir built, for the sake of the industry, our farmers and the North West community.”
Shane Broad MP
Shadow Minister for Primary Industries