Only days after holding a series of press conferences in which he promised to investigate the latest, horrific live export scandal where hundreds of sheep lost their lives, Agriculture Minister David Littleproud has jetted off to Vietnam to announce that $146 million in public money will be used to help support the live export industry.
It is now clear that whatever concerned noises the Turnbull Government might make about live exports, they have no intention of phasing out, winding back, or even truly acknowledging the ongoing horror of the live export industry.
Australia’s powerful live export barons have the Turnbull Government well and truly in their pockets – and it’s the struggling, working class Australian meat worker who is paying the price.
Just like his predecessor Barnaby Joyce before him, new minister David Littleproud is ready and willing to use public money to undermine Australian industries. Australian meat workers who were hoping that a new Agriculture Minister might bring with him a new approach appear to be sadly mistaken.
“Australian meat workers support their local communities, and contribute to the growth of the nation by paying their fair share of tax – while massive agricultural mega-corporations pay nothing,” said AMIEU Newcastle & Northern NSW Secretary Grant Courtney.
“It is an insult to these hard-working Australians to take their tax money, and use it in a way that undermines their entire livelihood.”
How can Mr. Littleproud justify spending $146 million in training up Vietnamese meat workers when his government is presiding over the most catastrophic drop in apprenticeship and training positions in decades?
If Mr. Littleproud is so concerned about Australian cattle being treated humanely, why doesn’t he instead ensure those cattle are processed locally – where they will be subject to the strictest, leading-edge animal welfare and safety standards anywhere in the world?
“Australian meat workers deserve a government who is committed to securing a future for Australia,” added Secretary Courtney. “That means a government which trains up local Australians, with local apprenticeships, to do local meat processing work, on locally grown cattle.”
“Instead, we have a government committed to doing everything possible to under-fund, under-resource, and undermine the future of Australia – just so that their friends in agricultural mega-corporations can make a tidy profit.”
“We call on Shadow Agriculture Minister Joel Fitzgibbon to declare his support for the humane local processing of Australian livestock, which supports Australian meat working families and ensures job and training opportunities for kids in regional Australia.”
AMIEU Newcastle & Northern NSW
PH: (02) 4929 5496