LIVE EXPORT —
EMANUEL EXPORTS — LICENCE CANCELLATION
676. Hon ROBIN SCOTT to the Minister for Regional
I refer to the cancellation of the
export licence to Emanuel Exports.
(1) Can the
minister confirm that the president of the Pastoralists and Graziers
Association, Tony Seabrook, has stated that the only winners from the
cancellation are animal welfare activists?
(2) Can the minister confirm that
Emanuel Exports is appealing against the cancellation?
(3) I ask the
minister to advise what action the state government is taking or will take to
facilitate the resumption of live sheep exports?
ALANNAH MacTIERNAN replied:
(1)–(3) I am not really in a position to confirm that Mr
Tony Seabrook said that, but it certainly sounds like the type of thing that he would say. I understand from the
public statements that have been made by Emanuel Exports that it is
intending to seek to appeal or to seek judicial review of the decision. I think
that Mr Seabrook, who has used all his time and energy to go into bat on behalf
of Emanuel Exports—not even of the entire industry—notwithstanding
the mounting evidence that has been brought before the public and indeed before
the federal government, has missed a real opportunity to be part of an
intelligent and meaningful debate about what we do here. I counsel him to
follow the lead of the WA Farmers' Federation and to be more focused on
the interests of the farmers, rather than on one particular exporter with which
presumably he has some very strong relationship.
I am confident that we will see the
industry resume in mid-September. Obviously, with the major exporter out of the
game, we should expect less activity in this regard. I think it is important to
get this absolutely right. With the animal welfare regulations, the new
standards that are being implemented and the enforcement of the existing
standards, we are not going to see this trade have the same margins in it that
it had before. The economics of that simply do not work. I think we will see
the trade resume, but I think we need to be very clear that it will not be
operating at the same level and with the same margins that it was before. We
want to work with the farming community to say, in this changed environment,
what do we need to do to ensure we get a decent market for our farmers? A part
of that must be developing the capability of our processes and another part
must be helping our farmers restructure the flock so they have animals that are
not as reliant on the live export trade.