Close to home here in Longman, there are local beef cattle, poultry and pig farming industries. So, I was very concerned with what I saw in the media recently regarding live exports.
Once again, we have extended an offer to work with the Government on a bipartisan basis so that we can strengthen our regulatory and accountability regimes. We need to work together to put these horrifying practices to an end.
The live export trade is a significant contributor to the Australian economy and generates many local jobs but it just can’t be allowed to flout our laws and disrespect our community’s expectations.
This is why I went to the last election with Labor promising to implement a 6 Point Plan on animal welfare and live exports.
The plan included the resurrection of the Inspector General for Animal Welfare and Live Exports - a position the former Labor Government created and the Liberals abolished.
We also committed to an Independent Office of Animal Welfare and more parliamentary accountability.
It’s frustrating when members of the Turnbull Government keep giving unqualified support to the industry. This behaviour has fostered a culture of complacency and risk within the National Party. It’s sad to say that, with such flippant handling of the industry, it’s no surprise that these horrible incidents have been allowed to occur.
Now, the only option left is for the Turnbull Government to embrace our plan and strengthen the capacity of the Department of Agriculture to punish those who breach legislated standards.
With over 250 pieces of correspondence coming through my office about this issue, our community expects the Government to do the right thing and work with Labor. If they don’t, we will certainly act when we form government at the next election.