If a day is a long time in politics then I’m sure you’d agree that the last week has felt like a year!
There’s been a lot of media commentary overnight about Sussan Ley’s inability to progress her private member’s bill to end sheep exports, now that she is a member of executive government. I knew this would leave many of our supporters, who have been passionately lobbying their MPs to support her bill, concerned and disappointed.
The first thing I want you to know is that we are still on track to end the cruel live sheep export trade.
The trade continues to unravel before our eyes…
- It’s now been 11 weeks since a sheep ship left our shores — for the first time in the history of this trade, sheep have not suffered through the furnace of a Middle Eastern summer.
- The biggest sheep exporter — Emanuel Exports — is off the water PERMANENTLY.
- A tightening regulatory environment has presented a new world order for exporters that has them questioning the commercial viability of the trade at any time of year.
- And very soon a review into the Department of Agriculture’s ability to properly regulate the industry will be handed down and this is expected to be damning.
All of these factors will lead to fewer animals being shipped and a dramatic reduction in the commercial ‘attractiveness’ of this trade. Much of this industry’s profits have been built on its ability to operate unlawfully. Those days are now gone.
While it’s disappointing that Sussan Ley and Sarah Henderson are no longer in a position to progress their private members bill, they’ve both publicly committed to continue to work within the government to obtain support for a phase out of the trade. Importantly, as you know, the ALP has committed to ending live sheep exports if elected to govern and polls are showing them clearly in front as we head towards an election.
The way forward:
In terms of next steps … the Senate bill to phase out the trade is still set to be voted on in coming months. If it passes, this will be another historic milestone in this campaign. This bill’s ability to progress further is dependent on the Morrison government, which controls the House of Representatives. As lobbying opportunities emerge, we will be sure to let you know.
The political developments of last week present a classic example as to why the key to effective campaigning is the ability to embrace developments, seize opportunities and pivot strategy at a moment’s notice. I should add to that list … resilience, and never taking your eye off the end goal!
Please rest assured that in the midst of this political upheaval, all remains well and momentum is still with us. There is as much reason to be optimistic today as there was a week ago.
As always, I am incredibly grateful to have you on this historic journey with us.
For the animals,
Lyn White AM
Director of Strategy