MacTier­nan tough on live ex­ports

Pilbara News - - News - Jenne Bram­mer

WA’s new Agri­cul­ture and Food Min­is­ter Alan­nah MacTier­nan has warned she’ll con­sider tougher en­force­ment of an­i­mal wel­fare stan­dards in the live ex­port trade.

But Ms MacTier­nan, who made no se­cret in the past she op­posed live ex­ports on hu­mane grounds, said last week she was “not here to im­pose my per­sonal opin­ions”.

She said WA La­bor’s po­si­tion was that live ex­port was an im­por­tant part of the agri­cul­ture sec­tor, so her fo­cus would be on strength­en­ing com­pli­ance un­der the Ex­porter Sup­ply Chain As­sur­ance Sys­tem.

“Proper en­force­ment of ESCAS is ab­so­lutely nec­es­sary if the in­dus­try wants to main­tain cred­i­bil­ity,” she said.

She said an in­ter­est­ing model was the one adopted by Fed­eral La­bor of ap­point­ing an in­de­pen­dent in­spec­tor-gen­eral of an­i­mal wel­fare, re­port­ing di­rectly to the min­is­ter.

“The de­gree to which that would be ap­pro­pri­ate here is some­thing I would need to ex­plore. That’s one op­tion — there may be oth­ers,” she said.

Al­though clo­sure of the Wheat­belt’s Tier 3 rail net­work was a mat­ter for the Trans­port Min­is­ter, Ms MacTier­nan said as ad­vo­cate for the agri­cul­ture sec­tor she had con­cerns.

“We have rail that could be used, that CBH wants to use but is de­nied ac­cess. I cer­tainly want to be talk­ing to the grains in­dus­try, pro­duc­ers and ob­vi­ously CBH and Brook­field (Rail), and then work with the Min­is­ter for Trans­port to see if there is a way for­ward,” she said. Ms MacTier­nan said in­for­ma­tion she had re­ceived was that get­ting grain back on rail might not re­quire ma­jor in­vest­ment and ex­ist­ing rail lines could be fit for pur­pose.

“Speed re­stric­tions on the lines be­cause they are old and not in peak con­di­tion doesn’t pre­clude them from hav­ing a pro­duc­tive use,” she said.

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