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Thursday, 27 March 2014
Page: 3448

Ms HALL (ShortlandOpposition Whip) (09:36): Like most Australians, I have been horrified by the ongoing images of acts of cruelty to Australian animals exported through Australia's live export trade. Australia has exported 160 million animals and 2.5 million of those have died on the way to their destination. They have been exported to countries where there are no laws to protect animals from cruelty. Animal welfare issues on board the boats and the transport conditions have been less than satisfactory.

The Australian government cannot ensure animals will be slaughtered humanely when they reach their destination or even handled humanely. They are handled contrary to Australian standards. I do not think this is good enough. The government is set to drastically expand export trade; along with that expansion there needs to be some proper legislative requirements put in place. I call on the government to appoint an independent officer to oversee this trade.

The other issue I want to raise and give my support to is the International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. There was an event held here this week where a number of members from both sides of the House attended to offer their support to the Palestinian people. Those members who attended support a two-state solution. We would like to see Israel stop its settlement program because it is undermining the prospect of ever achieving a two-state solution. I would like to put on the record my disgust at the abuse of the Palestinian people by the occupying forces. It is not good enough to sit back and let these atrocities continue. I think it important for members on both sides of this parliament to speak out against it. I call on the government to adopt the same position that the previous government did to the motion before the United Nations, support the Palestinian people and, in doing so, support a two-state solution in the Middle East.