Ministers row over documentation for live export legal bid

The West Australian
Live sheep export protest outside the Maritime Museum in Fremantle.
Camera IconLive sheep export protest outside the Maritime Museum in Fremantle. Credit: The West Australian, Trevor Collens, The West Australian

West Australian Agriculture Minister Alannah MacTiernan has accused her federal counterpart of kicking requests for documents to aid the state's planned legal action against a livestock exporter "into the long grass".

Ms MacTiernan wants to use the Animal Welfare Act to prosecute Emanuel Exports over the Awassi Express journey to the Middle East in August on which thousands of sheep died of heat stress.

She says the federal government is refusing to cooperate, forcing WA to request the documents using Freedom of Information laws then asking the Australian Information Commissioner to extend the due date.

"We've just had delay after delay in processing those FOIs," Ms MacTiernan told ABC radio on Tuesday.

"This doesn't sound to me like this is cooperation."

Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud has labelled her complaints a "cheap political play", saying he never received any correspondence.

The Commonwealth has also launched a criminal investigation into the shipment, last week ordering Emanuel Exports to "show cause" why it should hold an export licence.

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