Legislative Council: Thursday, February 08, 2024


Question Time

Live Animal Export

The Hon. N.J. CENTOFANTI (Leader of the Opposition) (14:18): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking a question of the Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development regarding live exports.

Leave granted.

The Hon. N.J. CENTOFANTI: Livestock SA, in December 2023, penned a letter to yourself and the federal agriculture minister, Murray Watt, seeking your support to revive the live sheep shipments out of Adelaide. Livestock SA, which is strongly opposed to the Labor government's ban on live export of sheep, say there is enough producer interest to load 50,000 SA sheep on boats already and that the required infrastructure to do so is still in place.

Feedback from the agricultural sector is that this policy—that is, the banning of live exports—is a very bad idea. Our trading partners are saying that it will cause irreparable damage to the industry. One interested constituent wrote to me and said:

The Government is only listening to the Greens and the activists at the expense of rural Australia and farmers.

The minister's Western Australian colleagues, agriculture minister Jackie Jarvis and Premier Roger Cook, have called the proposed ban on live exports an unnecessary burden and that the Prime Minister should reconsider. My questions to the minister are:

1. Has she responded to the letter from Livestock SA or met with representatives from Livestock SA on this important issue?

2. Does the minister and will the minister support the resumption of live exports out of Adelaide and if not, why not?

The Hon. C.M. SCRIVEN (Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, Minister for Forest Industries) (14:19): I thank the honourable member for her question. As she has referred to, this is a proposed ban by the federal government. My advice is there is no current legislative reason why live exports could not depart from South Australian ports, but the reality is that, according to my advice, there has been no live export of sheep from South Australian ports since 2018. That is clearly a commercial decision that is being driven by industry and commercial matters.