Inspector-general role seen as crucial to live export trade

Zach RelphCountryman
Federal Agriculture Minister Bridget McKenzie says Inspector-General position will improve the live trade’s transparency.
Camera IconFederal Agriculture Minister Bridget McKenzie says Inspector-General position will improve the live trade’s transparency. Credit: Sharon Smith

A push to establish an independent inspector-general of live exports is advancing, after a damning report lashed the Federal Department of Agriculture and Water Resources’ failure to police the trade.

Federal Agriculture Minister Bridget McKenzie introduced the Inspector-General of Live Animal Exports Bill 2019 into the Senate on Wednesday last week to improve live export oversight.

Establishing the role was a key recommendation in the scathing Moss Review, a report commissioned after last year’s Awassi Express drama which threw the live sheep industry into disarray.

Senator McKenzie said the position would shore up public confidence in live exports while improving the livestock export management system’s transparency.

The Inspector-General role was a Moss Review recommendation.
Camera IconThe Inspector-General role was a Moss Review recommendation. Credit: Sharon Smith

“The Inspector-General will promote continual improvements in the regulatory practice, performance and culture of the live export regulator,” she said.

This is another step assuring the community, trading partners and industry that the regulatory system is functioning as intended.

Ross Carter was engaged as interim independent inspector-general of live animal exports in March to independently oversee DAWR in its duty as animal welfare regulator.

National Farmers’ Federation boss Tony Mahar said shining a light on live exports through the role would underpin the trade’s longevity.

He said it was a positive move which would enhance transparency and build industry and community confidence.

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