Wednesday, 24 July 2019
Live Animal Exports
That the Senate—
(a) notes that:
(i) the Australian Government has committed to the public release of summary reports from independent observers on live export ships,
(ii) following the release of the first report in November 2018, the then Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Mr Littleproud MP, stated that "full transparency is the only way to build public trust in any industry" and that "the Australian public must have trust in the integrity and regulation of the live export trade. Reports from Independent Observers are a huge part of building this trust", and
(iii) to date, less than half of the Independent Observer summary reports from 2018 have been finalised and publicly released, and no 2019 reports have been released; and
(b) calls on the Federal Government to:
(i) commit to transparency in the live exports industry,
(ii) release the outstanding Independent Observer summary reports, and
(iii) commit to release future Independent Observer summary reports in a timely manner.
Our government supports this motion. The government remains strongly committed to ensuring that high welfare standards are maintained in the live export trade. That's why our government, with the support of industry, committed to independent observers on live export voyages to provide transparency and oversight to the highest level. In 2018 the government announced our intention to further improve transparency of the export trade by releasing the summary reports of the independent observers publicly. We remain committed to ensuring transparency is upheld to ensure that the confidence on animal welfare outcomes that the government expects is given to the trade. The Minister for Agriculture recently met with live exporters in Western Australia, and they also want independent observer summary reports made public. The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, as the independent live export regulator, is responsible for setting operating rules for exports and uploading independent observer reports, and is working hard to deliver the independent observer reports in a timely manner.
Labor supports the motion today to ensure that the live animal exports commitments made by the previous minister for agriculture, David Littleproud, post the Awassi event are upheld by the new Minister for Agriculture, Senator McKenzie. Increased transparency will ensure that the department of agriculture does not go backwards in its regulatory culture and that the 31 recommendations of the Moss review are made a priority.
Question agreed to.