Tuesday, 26 June 2018
Senator RHIANNON (New South Wales) (16:24): I seek leave to make a short statement.
The PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for one minute.
Senator RHIANNON: The live sheep export trade is in crisis. Of two export companies, one has been suspended, one has suspended itself. It's estimated two-thirds of the sheep usually exported in this year will not now be exported.
The government needs to step in. Transition packages are needed. About six per cent of the sheep in this country usually are exported. Something needs to happen. Transition packages are needed for farmers to provide assistance, but they're also needed to ensure that workers are trained adequately and that the infrastructure is in place. We urge the government to work with the Australasian Meat Industry Employees Union, which has been giving attention to this issue for a long time, and ensure that local TAFEs are well equipped to provide the training so that the workforce is there and so that it can bring a jobs boost, an economic boost, to regional areas. It's time we ended the mass cruelty, expanded local jobs and assisted our economy by transitioning away from the live export trade. (Time expired)