Payne won’t be drawn on live sheep exports

Michael TraillNarrogin Observer
Shelley Payne
Camera IconShelley Payne

Labor’s candidate for the seat of O’Connor Shelley Payne is staying tight-lipped on her stance about the live sheep export industry and its future.

Ms Payne’s office refused an interview with the Narrogin Observer to discuss the issue and did not respond to questions asked on how she would help local producers transition away from the trade if elected.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has pledged to phase out live sheep exports if Labor wins the May 18 Federal election.

Mr Shorten declared the industry is “unsustainable and simply has not changed for the better”.

Federal Labor has vowed immediately to ban live sheep trade over the northern summer, but caused confusion by failing to define the time frame.

Ms Payne is facing a likely defeat in O’Connor, despite an expected swing against the Coalition across the country on May 18.

Katanning farmer and Liberal MP Rick Wilson has held the seat since 2013 and easily saw off Labor candidate Jon Ford in the 2016 election by a margin of 15 per cent.

The seat of O’Connor incorporates the Southern Wheatbelt including the towns of Narrogin, Wagin and Katanning, regional centres such as Albany in the Great Southern and Kalgoorlie in the Goldfields as well as a few South West towns.

Collie was the only town in O’Connor that Labor won on a two-party preferred basis during the 2016 election.

Ms Payne’s home town of Esperance, where she’s a Shire of Esperance councillor, heavily favoured Rick Wilson in the 2016 election.

Pingelly farmer John Hassell won 18.3 per cent of the vote for the Nationals in the 2016 election.

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