Daws quits Emanuel Ex­ports to smooth way

Countryman - - NEWS - Nick Evans and Cally Dupe

Con­tro­ver­sial live ex­port boss Gra­ham Daws has quit the board of the sheep ex­port com­pa­nies he founded in a bid to smooth the way for the de­par­ture of 60,000 sheep stuck in WA after Emanuel Ex­ports’ ex­port li­cence was sus­pended last month.

The Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture con­firmed this week that Emanuel’s sis­ter com­pany, EMS Ru­ral Ex­ports, had ap­plied for ex­port per­mits in a move that could al­low move­ment of the sheep this week.

A state­ment from the Depart­ment con­firmed an ap­pli­ca­tion had been made, and said it would be sub­ject to the nor­mal as­sess­ment pro­cesses. The Al Shuwaikh had been sit­ting off Kwinana since Emanuel’s li­cense was tem­po­rar­ily sus­pended in late June, but moved into Fre­man­tle port early on Tues­day and be­gan tak­ing on feed in prepa­ra­tion for a voy­age as of­fi­cials from the Aus­tralian Mar­itime Safety Au­thor­ity be­gan their own in­spec­tion of the ves­sel.

The EMS ap­pli­ca­tion came after ne­go­ti­a­tions be­tween Emanuel and Har­mony Agri­cul­ture and Food for the ex­port of the sheep broke down.

It was pre­ceded by the res­ig­na­tion of Mr Daws as a di­rec­tor of both com­pa­nies, and from the third com­pany in the group, In­ter­na­tional Live­stock Ex­ports.

It is be­lieved to have been aimed at eas­ing the depart­ment’s de­ci­sion to is­sue a one-off per­mit to EMS al­low­ing ship­ment of the stranded sheep.

Doc­u­ments filed with the cor­po­rate reg­u­la­tor show the sole re­main­ing di­rec­tor of EMS is Mr Daws’ son Nick fol­low­ing the de­par­ture in May of busi­ness part­ner Mike Stan­ton as a di­rec­tor.

The de­par­ture of the Al Shuwaikh is likely to cause a fresh po­lit­i­cal storm over the trade, how­ever, with anti-live ex­port MPs again weigh­ing in on the is­sue when news broke of the EMS ap­pli­ca­tion on Tues­day.

Lib­eral MP Sus­san Ley, who has moved a pri­vate mem­bers Bill that would ef­fec­tively ban the live sheep trade, said the use of EMS as a ve­hi­cle for the ship­ment smacked of “cheat­ing the sys­tem”, given Emanuel’s li­cense is sus­pended.

Shadow Agri­cul­ture Min­is­ter Joel Fitzgib­bon said the ap­pli­ca­tion was “kick­ing sand into the Gov­ern­ment’s face”. Agri­cul­ture Min­is­ter David Lit­tleproud — a sup­porter of the trade — backed away from the ap­pli­ca­tion, is­su­ing a state­ment say­ing he had no say in the depart­ment’s de­ci­sion to con­sider and is­sue an ex­port per­mit.

An­i­mals Aus­tralia has flagged a po­ten­tial court chal­lenge, say­ing this week it would con­sider all of its le­gal op­tions.

Pas­toral­ists and Gra­ziers As­so­ci­a­tion of WA president Tony Seabrook said the de­par­ture should have oc­curred three weeks ago.

“From an an­i­mal wel­fare point of view, this was prob­a­bly the only out­come ap­pro­pri­ate,” he said.

“It has taken us three weeks to get to where we are. This has been the ir­re­spon­si­bil­ity of Can­berra, for a zero re­sult aside from cost­ing the ex­porter a lot of money.

“Th­ese is­sues are his­toric so there was no press­ing need and it was a typ­i­cal bu­reau­cratic re­sponse to take the li­cence.”

The Al Shuwaikh pic­tured at Fre­man­tle port.

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