Tuesday, 11 September 2012
Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
That the Senate take note of the document.
This report is into livestock mortalities during the export by sea of livestock, an arrangement that has been in place since the Howard government introduced it back in the earlier part of this decade. The statistics show that generally speaking the movement of animals by sea from Australia is done in a very humane way and there are relatively few mortalities that occur during the export by sea of livestock. In fact, Australian animals that are sent overseas are treated more humanely than animals that are transported by most other countries. That is why it is so frustrating when Senator Ludwig—the guy I am calling Jellyback Joe but I shouldn't do that—has made a ridiculous decision to stop the export of live animals to Indonesia, which has meant that animals exported from other countries will go to Indonesia and will be far less humanely treated than those that have come from Australia. This report before the parliament does actually indicate that, although there are some mortalities, relatively speaking they are minute. Such particular reports do demonstrate very clearly how well the Australian industry has dealt with the subject of the safe transport of live animals by sea. I wish the Greens political party and the Labor Party had the same concern for human beings who are suffering mightily as a result of Senator Ludwig's quite ridiculous and stupid decision to ban exports to Indonesia. There are so many farms and so many properties, including places that have been in family hands for decades, that are now going to the wall and are being taken over by the banks on foreclosures because of this decision of the Labor Party without warning to stop the export of livestock to Indonesia. Of course, the damage that has done to our relationship with Indonesia is just awful. Quite rightly, the Indonesians were mightily offended when without warning a very substantial part of their food supply was cut off. They learned about it when they read it in the newspaper. It demonstrates again how dysfunctional and how incompetent is the government that Ms Gillard leads at the present time. So it is an interesting report, one that I think does demonstrate again how well we deal with things to do with cattle exports from Australia. If nobody else is interested in talking about this now, I seek leave to continue my remarks.