Greens introduce Bill to legislate phase-out date for Australia’s live sheep export industry

Olivia FordCountryman
 Greens deputy leader Mehreen Faruqi has called on the Labor Government to stop “dragging its feet” on the planned live export phase-out.
Camera Icon Greens deputy leader Mehreen Faruqi has called on the Labor Government to stop “dragging its feet” on the planned live export phase-out. Credit: Cally Dupe/RegionalHUB

The Greens have introduced a Bill in the Senate calling on legislation for a deadline to shut down Australia’s live sheep export industry.

Greens deputy leader Mehreen Faruqi introduced the Legislate the Date to End Live Export Bill 2024 on Wednesday in a bid to accelerate the live export phase-out and prohibit all live sheep exports from Australia by May 2026.

While Federal Labor committed to phase out live sheep exports before its 2022 election win, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has ruled out setting a date until after the next Federal election.

Federal Agriculture Minister Murray Watt, in a meeting with the farming industry last week, confirmed those plans had not changed.

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Senator Faruqi criticised the decision, saying action must come sooner.

Deputy Greens leader Mehreen Faruqi.
Camera IconDeputy Greens leader Mehreen Faruqi. Credit: Daniel Wilkins/The West Australian

“There is no time to waste. Labor must legislate the date to end live sheep export if they are serious about keeping their promise to end this trade in misery,” she said.

“The Government has dragged its feet long enough. It has been nearly a year since Labor first sought advice from a panel on phasing out live sheep export and four months since the advice was provided, yet there has been no action.”

WAFarmers president John Hassell slammed the Bill and said the farming industry would not slow down in its defence of the live export industry.

“We simply can’t capitulate . . . not on anything,” he said.

“We’ll fight on the beaches and in the alleys, shopping centres and in any marginal electorate to ensure this doesn’t happen.”

Mr Hassell said if the live sheep trade ended, live cattle exports would be next on the chopping block — a prospect that is causing major concerns for those in the industry.

“(Animal activists) made no secret of the fact that they’ll move on to live cattle next and this country cannot afford that,” he said.

“Make no mistake, (the cattle industry) are worried, as are we.”

The debate was adjourned after Senator Faruqi presented the Bill, which is now set to be introduced in the House of Representatives.

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