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Wednesday, 22 June 2011
Page: 6887


Ms MARINO (ForrestOpposition Whip) (13:51): Australian farmers take great pride in breeding and raising healthy, quality, well-cared-for animals. They were appalled by the footage of the mistreatment of animals in some Indonesian abattoirs. But they also know that in Indonesia there are at least seven A-grade facilities right now that could be accredited and processing animals.

The first ban was the right decision, but the second ban, the total ban, has been referred to as one of the most severe trade restrictions imposed by government on local industry in living memory. Today, there are people out of a job and with no income. How many people were put out of work the minute the ban was announced and how many people now are in very dire financial circumstances as a result?

This is not only an agriculture and biosecurity issue but an economic, foreign affairs and trade issue. We have offended our neighbours in Indonesia. It is a regional development and sustainability issue. It is an Indigenous employment issue and an issue for the thousands of families, individuals, contractors and small and large businesses that are directly and indirectly affected both here and in Indonesia.

Farmers right across Australia know that this decision has, or will have, an impact on them, no matter where they sell their animals. I notice that in Western Australia cattle are now being shipped to the south and the livelihoods of hundreds of cattle producers, transporters, truck drivers and people right across the trade are affected by this ban.