Rebekha Sharkie and Centre Alliance announce plan to end live sheep exports
Candidate for Mayo Rebekha Sharkie and her Centre Alliance Senate colleagues will act to end live sheep exports.
“Centre Alliance's view is that this industry must be phased out, a position that will not only improve animal welfare and the Australian economy but will mean more jobs across Australia and in Mayo,” Rebekha said.
“There’s no future for live export – not when the alternative, building up our meat processing industry in Australia, is the right way forward.
“I was shocked and saddened by the recent media reports and accompanying footage of the abuse of Australian animals occurring on board live export ships to the Middle East.
“The level of concern in my community in Mayo has been enormous and I have been contacted by thousands of residents who were also appalled by evidence that the industry is clearly not meeting existing animal welfare standards.
“We cannot wait for the next scandal. We need to make a stand now.
“However, we need to act in a way that doesn’t devastate farmers’ livelihoods but assists them to transition to the chilled meat market.
“Done right, this is a real opportunity to grow Australian jobs.”
Senator Rex Patrick said that transition would involve a measured plan to help farmers identify new markets and transition to them, and to rebuild Australia's meat processing industry.
If elected, Rebekha and her Senate colleagues will support a Private Member’s Bill expected to be put forward later this year by Liberal MP Sussan Ley. This Bill has been the subject of ongoing negotiations with the Labor Party, the Greens and the crossbench to secure cross-party support and ensure a rapid progression through both Houses of Parliament.
“Centre Alliance has always signalled our preference to have meat processed on Australian shores and exported in a chilled form to support the meat processing industry in Australia,” said Rex.
“This is an industry that directly employs 35,000 people and indirectly employs 100,000 people.
“Processing on Australian shores would ensure that Australia’s animal welfare standards are enforceable. We would maintain jurisdiction in such matters and be able to regulate the industry accordingly.”