Agriculture Minister Ernie Bridge said he will not be swayed from conducting a thorough assessment of the meat industry and the impact of proposed changes before making a final decision on the WA Meat Marketing Corporation (WAMMC) and WA Meat Commission (WAMC).
Mr Bridge said he gained majority support for this approach when he met last night with key industry, union and consumer groups to discuss the findings of a review committee headed by Professor David Lindsay.
The review committee has recommended scrapping both the WAMMC and WAMC.
"The recommendations have huge implications for farmers, processors, exporters, meat industry employees, consumers and others, and I have no intention of being pushed to a hasty decision on the basis of criticism from a vocal minority," Mr Bridge said.
"Most of the major players have indicated support for my plan to establish a three-person working group to assess the ramifications of the Lindsay committee recommendations.
"The working group, which will be appointed as soon as possible and hopefully by next week, will not be just another committee, as has been suggested. It will be working closely with me to determine issues such as strategic, economic and social implications, industry employment, and the processes of change.
"Areas needing more attention include such things as processor/marketing monopolies, the timing of WAMC/WAMMC action, viability and function of a private WAMMC, ability to profitably offset lamb with other products, prospects for WAMC and WAMMC workforce, promotion, research and development, and the likely effect on consumption and consumer prices.
"The alternative to this approach is to rush in and implement the review committee's recommendations without putting them into the context of the big picture, which extends far beyond the Lindsay committee's terms of reference."
Mr Bridge said he hoped to have the issues thoroughly worked through and decided before the end of the year.
Last night's meeting was attended by representatives of the WA Farmers' Federation, Pastoralists' and Graziers' Association, Rural Action Movement, WA Livestock Salesmen's Association, Skin Export and Packers' Association, Livestock Transporters' Association, Consumer Action, Consumers' Association, Meat and Allied Trades' Federation, Australian Meat Exporters' Federal Council, Australasian Meat Industry Employees' Union, and Meat Industry Authority.