Legislative Council: Thursday, June 16, 2022


Live Animal Export

The Hon. N.J. CENTOFANTI (Leader of the Opposition) (14:23): My questions are for the Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development regarding live animal exports:

1. Which livestock advisory groups or livestock industry members have you met with or held discussions with regarding the federal Labor government's commitment to ban live sheep exports?

2. If none, will you seek meetings with livestock advisory groups and livestock industry members to discuss the federal Labor government's commitment to ban live sheep exports?

3. Have you received any correspondence from any livestock advisory groups regarding the federal Labor government's commitment to ban live sheep exports?

The Hon. C.M. SCRIVEN (Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, Minister for Forest Industries) (14:24): I think it's probably worthwhile to be explicit for members, so that when they are asking their questions they can be clear that the livestock advisory groups—there is something by that name in the act, as well as groups such as Livestock SA, for example, who are simply groups involved in the livestock industry who do provide advice. I'm certainly not suggesting that the Leader of the Opposition was unclear in that, but other members of this place may have been.

In terms of background, the commonwealth government legislation governs the regulation of livestock exports, the introduction of any restrictions, and the banning of live exports. Such matters cannot be decided by any individual state or territory. The commonwealth government has proposed banning live sheep exports, but the timing of a possible decision on that is not exactly clear. I think I recently in this place referred to the fact that there were undertakings given by the federal government that such a ban would not occur until there had been a robust consultation process.

All members of the live export supply chain within South Australia, including producers and transporters, must comply with the Animal Welfare Act 1985. That legislation, as I have mentioned, falls within the portfolio of the Minister for Climate, Environment and Water. I am advised that investment by the Australian government, Meat and Livestock Australia and exporters has dramatically improved the welfare of Australian livestock during transit and in importing nations through improved training, handling and slaughtering equipment.

In terms of the specific questions, I have had a number of meetings with groups including, for example, Livestock SA. The issue was raised. That was prior to the election of the Albanese Labor government. I have had a number of other discussions with a number of other groups about many matters and on occasions the issue of live export has arisen.