Fyfe scores role on livestock body

Zach Relph and Jackson Lavell-LeeBusselton Dunsborough Times
It was business as usual at the Fyfe Transport yard in Lake Grace early this morning. Brownlow Medal winner Nathan Fyfe's dad David heading to work before dawn.
Camera IconIt was business as usual at the Fyfe Transport yard in Lake Grace early this morning. Brownlow Medal winner Nathan Fyfe's dad David heading to work before dawn. Credit: WA News, Mogens Johansen

Former Margaret River earthmoving business owner Andy Jacob has handed over the presidency of WA’s peak livestock hauling body to David Fyfe amid worrying times for the industry.

Mr Fyfe’s appointment comes as the State’s livestock carriers are caught in limbo amid the country’s ongoing live export industry drama.

The livestock transport sector is among industries along the live sheep trade’s supply chain to be hit after vision of dead and heat-stressed sheep aboard the Awassi Express emerged in April last year.

It led to a shipping standstill from June 6 to September 22 last year and a current three-month moratorium on live sheep trade.

Mr Jacob said uncertainty surrounding the live export trade and a subsequent pause in activity had a devastating impact on several members.

His own business suffered too, sparking a relocation of his trucking operations to Victoria.

Mr Jacob cited family reasons and the live trade dilemmas as reasons to relocate to Echuca at the group’s annual conference in Busselton last Friday.

New president Mr Fyfe is principal of Fyfe Transport in Lake Grace and his son is Fremantle Dockers captain and 2015 Brownlow Medallist Nat Fyfe.

He vowed to get a wave of young drivers into the industry and behind the truck’s wheel.

Mr Jacob said he would remember his Livestock and Rural Transport Association presidency tenure fondly as he embarked on a Victorian chapter.

“It was really a tough decision, but I’m now looking forward to the future,” he said.

Mr Fyfe said he wanted to use his role to help attract a new generation of workers into rural transports.

“We need to encourage younger people into our industry and get them to enjoy being a transport operator,” he said.

“Transport operators are a bit like an old drover, you never know where you’re going to and where the day will take you.”

Mr Fyfe acknowledged the live export controversy had generated a lull in work for owner-operators dependent on transporting sheep from farms to feedlots and then the Fremantle Port.

“We’ve had 12 months of fast education,” he said.

“Unfortunately smaller operators have wound up with no work and have been impacted because of it.”

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