Wednesday, 5 December 2018
Resolutions of the Senate
Live Animal Exports; Consideration of Senate Message
With the member for Denison, we got to the point right at the end where he said, 'For these few thousand in the export trade, why do we worry about them?' We worry about them because it is their livelihood. They are actually the ones who are going to become poorer if this motion goes forward and if this motion succeeds. There seems to be little regard for the people in Western Australia or in the western districts of New South Wales who have underpinned their price of sheep, on a substantial basis, on the live export trade.
The member for Denison also mentioned myths and lies. Let's deal with a few of those myths and lies. The last ship had 0.16 mortality; I think it was about 50. That means that well in excess of 99.8 per cent walked off the ship. That's the truth. The truth is that it is a successful trade. Let's also go to the Awassi Express. We've been doing some digging around here. Who did take that footage on the Awassi Express? Who was the person who took that footage? Where was that person? The information I have is that it was the person who was actually responsible for looking after the sheep. That is the person who took the footage. He is now residing in Pakistan, after receiving about $200,000. The person who was responsible for looking after them is the one who has made the profit from that going out. If that person had been doing their job, we wouldn't have the footage. These are the sorts of issues, myths and lies that you are dealing with.
This is how this nefarious process of the activist industry works. Are we going to reward that even further? Why was it that, on that ship, they said, 'In the other areas, we didn't have this problem'? I listened with respect to the member for Denison; that's exactly how the debate works around here. They yell and scream, and they don't listen with respect.
Mr Wilkie interjecting—
There it is, right there in front of you. That's who they are. Why was it that on other levels of that ship we didn't have the same problems? These are the questions that people are asking. Why was it? Where was the person who was responsible for looking after them? Well, he was the person who took the footage. He has now sold the footage, he has been paid and he is living happily in Pakistan. I think he has got in excess of $200,000 for it. Is this what we are going to premise this motion on? How about we dispense with the myths and lies and deal with the truth? When are we going to stop rewarding a person for their malfeasance by saying, 'Not only is he going to get $200,000 but we are going to shut the whole trade down'?
I will also go to the point in the member for Denison's speech where he said: 'Australians hate the trade. All of us hate the trade.' We know that is completely incorrect. I can tell you that, for one, I don't. People in North Queensland don't, people in Western Australian don't and people in the South West of Western Australia, who rely on this to get a better return back through the farm gate, don't. I know the green-shirt brigade, who are out there trying to make sure that we maintain agricultural industries, don't. I know that we have been fighting for them, just like when they closed down the live cattle trade. People went broke and people committed suicide because the value of their place was absolutely destroyed by the reckless actions of those who did not live on their farms, who did not work in their industries and who did not have the to deal with the consequences of the actions of this chamber.
We are not going to let that happen again. We are going to stand up for these people and make sure that we respect their rights. The member for Denison doesn't believe in the live sheep trade. The member for Denison—
Mr Wilkie interjecting—
There he is. The member for Denison doesn't believe in the live cattle trade. I can tell you where it is going, because I have heard it from the member of Bendigo. This will go into the transport trade and into the movement of cattle and the movement of sheep. It will then go back to the farm and further impose the caveats of the government on how people run their farms. This, of course, is the movement of the government into the private commerce of rural industry. We must stand up on behalf of the people of rural industry, because we know the member for Denison won't and we know the Greens won't.