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Lynn congratulates City of Freo for taking live export stance
CITY OF FREMANTLE — LIVE SHEEP EXPORTS
Member's Statement - 27 May 2010:
HON LYNN MacLAREN (South Metropolitan) [5.37 pm]: I rise tonight with some good news. I want to commend the City of Fremantle and its councillors for last night passing a historic motion to adopt an advocacy position against the live export trade. This is the first time in history that all three tiers of representation in the political realm are working together toward a transition away from live exports, which is an issue that has long
been dear to my heart. I commend the City of Fremantle and its leadership under Mayor Brad Pettitt, who has taken this historic opportunity to move forward in this debate that has unfortunately stagnated in this state.
Councillors who spoke on this motion were inspirational. Councillor Josh Wilson, Councillor Andrew Sullivan and Councillor Sam Wainwright all took a different view of why this trade should be ended. Andrew Sullivan in particular comes from a sheep-farming family; in fact, they grew shippers when he was a kid. He knows that this trade has become something that is shameful. He spoke very eloquently from the heart. In particular, Sam
Wainwright discussed the jobs argument and how jobs in this state are being shipped overseas by taking the opportunity to send animals live instead of processing them here.
The motion pointed to a couple of recent reports, one was by WSPA, the World Society for the Protection of Animals, which articulated that 2 000 jobs could be created in Western Australia alone if we processed the animals here. In addition, WSPA worked out that it would be worth $20 more for each sheep if we processed them here rather than sent them abroad.
The other study that was cited was undertaken by Animals Australia. Representatives from Animals Australia went overseas and investigated five countries in the Middle East and determined that extreme cruelty was being inflicted on the livestock during transportation, holding, handling and slaughter.
By background we know that 80 per cent of nearly four million sheep exported from Australia leave from Fremantle. They are loaded at Fremantle port and leave from that port. This will be a major step towards ending the trade. One of the things that Mayor Pettitt said during his comments last night was that the City of Fremantle is not in favour of moving this trade from Fremantle to Kwinana, but it wants to see a phase-out of that trade. It is prepared to work with stakeholders to have a forum in which opponents of the trade can talk with people who believe the trade is worthwhile and come to a transition strategy. It is an important way forward in this particular case.
Statistically, in 2008, 35 000 sheep died due to starvation, stress and disease related to live exports. I hope that last night’s motion at the City of Fremantle is a step towards ending this kind of pain and suffering, and we will work together with the councillors of the city when they approach us for our assistance. Of course, they want to work at both a state and commonwealth level to end this trade.
I personally thank Mayor Brad Pettitt and the federal member for Fremantle, Melissa Parke, who is an Australian Labor Party member. She is working among her federal colleagues to change policy so that we can see an end to this trade. Together we will work towards this goal and I hope that members in this place who are interested in this issue will seek to work with me towards ending this terrible trade.
Finally, I congratulate Stop Live Exports, which is a group that started out as People Against Cruelty in Animal Transport. I was a member of this group in its early days. I commend the members of this group for their tireless work and its terrific achievement in getting the City of Fremantle onside.<!--[endif]-->