House debates

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Constituency Statements

Live Animal Exports

10:17 am

Photo of Kate EllisKate Ellis (Adelaide, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

It has now been some 12 years since I first rose in this parliament to put forward my concerns about the issue of live exports and the concerns of the constituents that I represent here— 12 years , a number of speeches, countless letters , c onstant lobbying, to put forward the very deeply held concerns that so many residents of Australia have. It has been 12 years , but still it falls on the deaf ears of this government, who is committed to only doing the bare minimum at best. The constituents that I represent and I as the person who has the privilege of putting forward their concerns in this parliament are not going to give up. We will keep putting forward our concerns. We will keep advocating for change.

I wanted this morning to share the words of some of the residents of the Adelaide electorate who have written to me. Like, I'm sure , every member of this parliament, we've had thousands and thousands of letters. But two of them that I received recently particularly stand out. One of them comes from Evie. Evie is six years old and , at six years old, she decided it was time that she wrote her first letter to her local MP. She said:

… I watched a small part of video about how sheep are treated while aboard large transportation ships. I felt really really shocked and sad to see this. I also felt very angry. I actually ran around the kitchen table stomping my feet.

I wanted to yell at the people who ran the ship b ut my dad told me that all I'd get would be a red face.

Please can you stop this terrible treatment of sheep. It might mean changing some of the rules in Canberra and I don't know how to do that by myself.

Evie, we will do that.

I also heard from Molly, who is 12 years old. She sent me a poem. I won't read all of it, but it states:

… some things on this world are too evil to be true

The end of these things can be achieved by you

Please end these terrors before it's too late

It's up to you to decide their fate …

I know the member sitting alongside me, the member for Lalor, as a former school principal would be very impressed with the efforts of both of these young women from the Adelaide electorate. I tell them and the thousands of others who have contacted me that, whilst the government are once again occupied only by themselves, speaking to each other and lobbying each other to try to protect their own jobs, we hear you. I have stood up for these concerns in this place for 12 years. I will continue to do so. Labor will take action while the government just sit back and play political games.