Thursday, 8 February 2018
Live Animal Exports
That the Senate—
(a) notes that:
(ii) according to the AMIEU, independent research shows that a sheep processed in Australia is worth 20 per cent more to the economy than one sent for live export, and
(iii) the live export industry has been plagued by horrific animal cruelty; and
(b) calls on the Turnbull Government to:
(i) support the development of new meat processing facilities in northern Australia,
(ii) work with industry to end subsidies and tariffs which favour the live export trade,
(iii) provide assistance to expand the boxed meat export trade, and
(iv) work with farmers and industry to develop a smooth and successful transition away from live export by assisting to build new abattoirs, all-weather roads and developing other ways to reduce production costs.
The coalition government recognises the positive economic contribution that both the live export and red meat industries deliver to the nation, to local communities and to rural families at the farm gate. We are investing heavily in supporting the improvement of cattle supply chains in northern Australia, through the northern Australia white paper. Australia's red-meat-processing and live export sectors are complementary. The export of livestock overseas increases livestock prices across the entire Australian red meat industry and increases returns to livestock producers and the businesses that support them in their communities.
Labor is opposing this motion. Whilst Labor is a strong supporter of our local meat-processing industry and acknowledges that there are labour force and stock supply issues, the current motion is seeking to pit the live export industry against the local meat-processing industry, and this will do nothing to ensure the longer term sustainability and profitability of the local meat-processing industry.
In 1980 I sent to this very parliament a petition containing 30,000 names, calling for a ban on live exports, when Peter Nixon was the Minister for Primary Industry. I have never wavered from that. I support this position from Senator Rhiannon 100 per cent, and I hope the Senate will finally come to its senses.