Regional relativities of sustainable pastoral sheep production in Western Australia


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DPIRD Collections

Animal production and livestock

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The Pastoral Wool Industry has for many years been in a parlous position. Jennings (1979) in a review of the industry nearly 15 years ago concluded that a significant number of pastoralists were in serious financial trouble, mainly resulting from the inability of station businesses to cope with the worsening terms of trade affecting rural industries. The recent collapse of the wool price has again focused attention on the future viability of the pastoral wool industry. Wilcox and Cunningham (1993) in a review of the industry in October 1993, concluded that the clean price indicator needs to increase by 50 per cent, at least, for sheep businesses to become viable and to provide adequately for owners' needs and capital replacements. The Wool Industry Task Force (unpublished report) has concluded that the evidence is overwhelming that the industry, with its current structure, will not survive the future unless there is very significant and ongoing Government support and subsidy or alternative sources of income.

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