THE contentious live sheep export ban issue supported by Farrer MP Sussan Ley is likely to be carried over until 2019 and into the federal election campaign.
The latest attempt to bring the matter before the parliament in the final sitting week of the year was instigated by crossbencher Rebekha Sharkie before being rolled when it failed to secure the numbers to bring on a debate.
Ms Sharkie wanted a five-year phase out of the trade in legislation similar to what Ms Ley and fellow Liberal MP Sarah Henderson had proposed earlier in the year before being elevated to minister positions in the Prime Minister changeover to Scott Morrison from Malcolm Turnbull.
"Quite frankly I don't think we can trust this industry to manage itself,” Ms Sharkie told parliament.
“We need to transition away from this industry and actually look at this as an opportunity for industry, for sheep, for farmers and for people living in regional Australia to have good quality jobs.”
Meanwhile, Ms Ley and Ms Henderson have welcomed a decision by the Australian Livestock Exporters’ Council for a 2019 northern summer moratorium on long haul sheep exports.
“A key component of our Private Members’ Bill and continuing advocacy was to see an immediate stop to the summer trade from next year,” they said in a joint statement.
“While applauding the ALEC move, we note it has stopped short of confirming any permanent ban during these hotter months.
Industry has clearly seen the writing was on the wall for the summer trade, and have acted to pre-empt any possible measures implemented in relation to the heat stress assessment model, currently under consideration by the department of agriculture.
“Any decisions taken in this area have to be consistent with the science.
“Now the first step has been taken, the sensible path is for both sides of the debate to construct a carefully considered transition to ending the trade permanently.”