MATTERS OF PUBLIC IMPORTANCE -- Live Animal Exports


Senator IAN MACDONALD (Queensland) (16:53): Why would you think, Mr Acting Deputy President, that the Labor Party would get the live export supply chain regime correct They completely messed up the pink batts arrangement. They completely confused the Green Loans scheme. They have had six changes so far on the carbon tax legislation. They brought in a flood tax that penalised ordinary householders but not the big multinational companies. They have a mining tax which has already seen a real impact and slowdown in our mining operations and Australian investment in it.

I am sad to learn that, today, BHP has announced that the Gregory mine, near Emerald, will be closing, with 55 jobs lost. These are 55 workers that the Labor Party is supposed to be looking after, and 242 contractors, small businessmen, will go because of the closure of the Gregory mine. Xstrata have today announced that 600 jobs will go from their coalmines, and the South Australian economy is reeling under the Olympic Dam stoppages and the delay in the Australian Submarine Corporation's work because this government cannot pay the bills. So, with all of those failuresand the Gillard government are synonymous with failureswhy would you think that they would get the live export regime right

I am one of those softies. I, like every other Australian, including all pastoralists, loathe animal cruelty. I even had to have the vet come around to my house to put down our old cat because I could not bear the thought of taking the cat to the vet to spend its last moments on earth in a strange place. We all want to ensure that none of our animals are poorly treated. I also want to make sure that human beings are not badly treated. Senator Furner pretends that he goes up into the bush of Queensland. We know that he does not, because if he did go up there he probably would not come back in one piece.

People up in the bush areas, the northern cattle industry, are just devastated by the work of Senator Ludwig and the Labor government. It is the suicides that are happening up in those communities now. Do we have the Greens worrying too much about those

Senator Williams interjecting

Senator IAN MACDONALD: As Senator Williams said, where are all the emails and the outrage from the Greens about the stoning to death of women No, we do not see that, but we do see live animal export bringing this huge, confected public outcry. What about the outcry for those human beings who are suiciding because of the work of the Greens political party and Senator Ludwig Because of Senator Ludwig's action, taken at the behest of the Greens because the Greens keep this dysfunctional government in powerwhere is the concern about the suicides that are happening directly because of the actions of Senator Ludwig and the Greens political party

Senator Rhiannon: Mr Acting Deputy President, I rise on a point of order. I ask the senator to withdraw the very insulting statement that he made about suicide and linking it with the Greens. We are deeply concerned about people in the bush, and I actually addressed those comments. I ask him to withdraw that statement.

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT ( Senator Ludlam ): There is no point of order.

Senator IAN MACDONALD: The point I am making, Senator Rhiannon, is that you bring on these motions and you organise GetUp! to send all these letters to Senator Ludwig, knowing that he is so weak as a minister that he will roll over. Why haven't you done that about the people who are suiciding because of the actions that you initiated, because of Senator Ludwig's stupidity in banning live cattle exports and, as a result of that, putting out of business tens, dozens, hundreds of family farms in Northern Australia Are you worried about that at all

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Order! Senator Macdonald, please address the senator through the chair.

Senator IAN MACDONALD: I am sorry, Mr Acting Deputy President, but I do get emotional about the impact of the sort of stupidity created by GetUp! and the Greens, dealing with a weak minister, in banning a trade that has led to the suicides. Senator Williams and my other colleagues

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT ( Senator Ludlam ): Order! The time for the discussion has expired.

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