Senate debates

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Documents

Department of Agriculture and Water Resources; Consideration

5:12 pm

Photo of Slade BrockmanSlade Brockman (WA, Liberal Party) Share this | Hansard source

I rise to take note of the same document. I will talk about outrage to start. I'll talk about the outrage of 1,000 farmers in a community hall in Katanning a few months ago about the threat from radical activist groups and some in this place to their livelihood, to their business, to their economic wellbeing and to their future, based on misinformation and half-truths. I have the document we are considering today in front of me, the livestock mortalities documentation, which is regularly reported as per the legal requirements on the industry. It shows further positive results from the industry in achieving good animal welfare outcomes.

This government has taken note of what occurred on ships last year. There were some particularly egregious instances that the public were rightly outraged at. But the track record of the industry is very good. We see today that mortality rates are 0.6 per cent amongst sheep and 0.14 per cent amongst cattle. There are a very small number of buffaloes that are exported live, and the mortality rate there is 0.08 per cent. We've seen an ongoing commitment from all parts of this industry to improving standards.

The government did ask Dr McCarthy to do a review. The review has reported, and the government has accepted those recommendations. Some of them required further work. There were clearly recommendations that needed to be able to be monitored and measured before they were actually implemented, and how that was to be done in a practical way needed to be worked through. That is an ongoing effort, and the government is committed to it. But the ship that has been in the media today that is going out shortly is largely a cattle ship, and I believe that those directly opposite still support the export of cattle in this way. I certainly hope they do. I certainly hope senators like Senator Watt from Queensland, if they no longer support the export of live cattle, tell the electorate that before the next election—

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