New England Greens candidate Mercurius Goldstein replies to a recent letter regarding live exports.
I THANK Mr Watson for his letter and industry advice (The NDL, June 18), and confirm that neither I nor the Greens are seeking to direct the livestock industry, but rather to support the industry’s own calls
for a legislated, producer-owned body that can engage with government and other parties, such as the transportation industry and meat workers, to solve supply chain issues together.
Supporters of the status quo on live exports often do a disservice to Australian industry by suggesting that we are somehow incapable in the domestic market of making a product that meets the exacting demands of buyers in the region.
But I don’t accept that support for exporters requires selling our domestic producers short.
Moreover, the recent improvements in livestock conditions that Mr Watson rightly praises actually came about as a result of the public outcry once a spotlight was shone on unacceptable practices in live export ships and overseas abattoirs.
It is a bit rich for live traders to now claim credit for improvements they were forced to implement in response to public pressure.
Australia was built by people who did not shirk from difficult or complex endeavours with cries of “it’s all too hard”.
We would all be better served in this country by focusing on “how we can”, instead of “why we can’t”.
With news emerging of up to 100 domestic meat workers’ jobs lost to the region in Inverell, this is an urgent matter for New England families that are now without an income while their jobs have been shipped offshore in a trade that enjoys the support of both Barnaby Joyce and Tony Windsor.