Letter: Legislation same-same on live exports trade

David Littleproud claims (Ley deserts sheep – ALP September 12 Pg 8) Labor amendments to the Government’s Export Legislation Amendment (Live-Stock) Bill 2018 are a media stunt.

The amendments are a mirror copy of the Sussan Ley private members’ bill to phase out the live sheep export trade over a five-year period and enjoy the support of the majority of Australians.

I remind David Littleproud that I made it clear that Labor supports the Bill to increase penalties for breaches of animal welfare standards.

If the amendments are not carried, we will pass the Bill in its current form and it will go to the Senate. There is nothing stopping it being debated and voted on in the House of Representatives.

The reason the minister is withholding the Bill is that he’s concerned about the level of support in the community for my amendments. I would assume that – given he’s in government, which implies he has a majority of votes in the House of Representatives – he would have no hesitation to bring it to a vote and to progress the bill.

After all, he said he was “shocked and gutted” by scenes of cruelty in the live sheep export trade and that it “cannot go on”. 

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