Ex-Labor leader leaves top job with exporters

Zach RelphCountryman
Outgoing Australian Livestock Exporters’ Council chairman Simon Crean.
Camera IconOutgoing Australian Livestock Exporters’ Council chairman Simon Crean. Credit: Australian Livestock Exporters’ Council/Australian Livestock Exporters’ Council

Former Labor powerbroker and staunch live trade advocate Simon Crean has sailed away from Australia’s peak live export body.

The Australian Livestock Exporters’ Council announced last Thursday Mr Crean had ended his tenure, with one-time LiveCorp chairman David Galvin set to steer the ship.

After more than five years in the role, Mr Crean — who assumed ALEC’s chairman position in October 2014 — said it was the right time to move on.

“My agreement in 2014 to chair the Australian Livestock Exporters’ Council was conditional on the commitment by industry to significant and ongoing improvement in animal welfare practices,” he said.

Mr Crean was renowned for his dedication to improving animal welfare standards and championing the live trade’s importance.

The former Federal Labor opposition leader, from 2001 to 2003, also took no issue in calling out his old political party over live exports.

Speaking at the WAFarmers’ Trending Ag forum in Perth last year, Mr Crean criticised then-Labor leader Bill Shorten’s pledge to phase out the live sheep trade in favour of domestic processing, if elected at the 2019 Federal Election.

“The solution that says get rid of Australia from the trade does not make sense to me, because demand exists for the live trade,” Mr Crean told delegates.

“The simplistic argument that says substitute the trade with boxed beef doesn’t wash.

“We know that there is a possibility of a change of government that will see a party come into power, my party, that is going to phase out the trade, but that is not the reason to give up.

“If there are solutions to this, we should be advocating for them.”

ALEC chief executive Mark Harvey-Sutton thanked Mr Crean for his services, while welcoming Mr Galvin into the role.

“I believe the industry has made significant progress under the guidance of Simon Crean,” he said.

“It has been an honour to work with Simon and I am confident the trade will continue to prosper under the ALEC new chair David Galvin.

“We as an industry are commited to Australia’s leadership role and importance in providing a sustainable and ethical global livestock export industry.”

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