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Tuesday, 8 May 2018
Page: 3256


Mr JOYCE (New England) (13:49): This is my first 90-second statement. I think it's really important that our nation doesn't go down a path that it's gone down two other times that I can nominate. With the closure of the live cattle trade, we had an immense outpouring—rightly so—about the barbarity of how cattle were being treated, but this was quickly overtaken by empathy for those who were most devastated by the financial loss of a major industry. In time, it was recognised that this was one of the worst decisions our nation had made. Likewise, with the closing of the greyhound-racing industry, the initial outpouring in regard to the treatment of greyhounds was overtaken by the sense of how we had affected those people in the greyhound-racing industry.

Now, with the live sheep issue, we have to be very aware that those who are dealing with live sheep are generally dealing with lesser country that can't take cattle. We are going to affect their livelihoods and their income streams, and not only theirs but those of the towns that they surround. It is about keeping dignity in these people's lives and giving them the capacity, as we have now done, to afford renovations and a new car and to get a better return back through the farm gate. In the past, some of these sheep had no value; they were shot. Now they are worth in excess of $100, up to $150. We have an obligation in this nation to protect the dignity and the rights of those people in the sheep industry.