The Senate has passed a Greens motion calling on the Turnbull government to release documents relating to Australia’s export finance credit agency (EFIC) and live exports (below).
The motion follows an extraordinary backflip by EFIC last week, after state director Phil Smith said the agency did not fund the live export trade because it involved ‘too much cruelty’.
On Thursday EFIC’s chief executive contradicted Mr Smith, calling the comments untrue and the situation ‘embarrassing’.
Today Greens industry and animal welfare spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon said, “It looks like this poor bloke at EFIC is in big trouble for accidentally telling the truth.
“But thanks to his comments we now know that within some arms of government, some people are willing to give an honest assessment of the risks associated with the inhumane live export trade,” Senator Rhiannon said.
The Greens are campaigning to end the live export trade, and transition to the domestic meat processing sector. EFIC has only approved one loan for slaughter cattle exports.
Notice of Motion – Order for the production of documents – EFIC and Live Exports
I give notice that on the next sitting day I will move:
1. That there be laid on the table by 29 March 2017, by the Senator representing the Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, all documents by or held by the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (EFIC) including risk assessments, advice, emails, minutes or other information relating to consideration of the live export trade or live exporters including, but not limited to, consideration of the trade’s cruelty to animals, reputational risk, and preference for EFIC to support the chilled meat trade in free trade agreement negotiations with any country including Indonesia.