The Greens say a new report from the World Society for the Protection of Animals, showing an additional 1300 jobs could be created and $204 million injected into the Northern Australian economy if 400,000 cattle were slaughtered locally rather that sent as live exports to Indonesia, boosts the case for a ban on live exports ("Abattoir call to end live exports", The Australian, p 2 today).
Senator Rhiannon discussed the report today on doors (Audio). Her ban live export bill will be debated in the Senate tomorrow.
"The Greens support WSPA's call for livestock to be slaughtered in Australia and for the government to assist producers and exporters to expand the trade in chilled and frozen boxed meat," Senator Rhiannon said.
"The government can assist in the job of bringing the wealth of cattle trade back to Australia by negotiating with countries importing our livestock for an end to tariffs, subsidises and other market distorting factors that favour live trade.
"Big cattle producers have for too long had the ear of government, at the expense of the entire industry and local jobs.
"Australia, to our shame, is the world's largest exporter of live animals. 20,000 sheep and cattle died last year on route to overseas markets.
"Farmers and regional communities are losing jobs and the opportunity of a multi-million dollar boost to the Australian economy.
"A smart solution is for the government to work with livestock producers, unions and the meat processing industry to transition to domestic processing where the true economic advantage lies," Senator Rhiannon said.