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Senate passes live export ban

Senate passes five-year phase out plan

The private bill, that aims to phase out live sheep exports and end trade to the Middle East during the northern summer, passed 31 votes to 28 on Monday.

The bill was backed by the Labor party, the Greens, Centre Alliance and independents Derryn Hinch and Timothy Storer.

The Liberal-National Coalition, as well as independents David Leyonhjelm, Pauline Hanson and Brian Burston opposed the proposed legislation.

However, a push by the Labor party in the House of Representatives to debate and vote on the bill failed on Monday afternoon.

Following the Liberal Party spill, the promotion of Sarah Henderson and Sussan Lay to the front-bench, it has forced them to abandon a pledge to cross the floor on the ban. As party rules stop frontbenchers from introducing private member’s bills or crossing the floor against government policies without resigning from the front bench.

The coalition government has previously rejected a ban on live exports, encouraging laws to increase space allocated to live stock on ships by 39 percent. As well as, improving ventilation and increasing penalties for operators who wilfully break these standards.

Green senator Mehreen Faruqi spoke to the Senate of the industry and the footage from the Awassi Express.

“These images are burnt indelibly in my mind,” she said.

“Scared, confused and terrified animals knee-deep in excrement … Sheep desperately trying to escape pens as they are literally cooked alive. Carcasses piled up as they decay in the oppressive heat.”

Emanuel Exports, the operator of the Awassi Express, had their license suspended following an investigation. After footage was broadcast showing sheep dying or deceased carcasses on their way to the Middle East.

Faruqi followed saying that the live export was “an industry built on cruelty” and tougher penalties needed to apply.

For the legislation to pass the House or Representatives it needs 76 supportive votes. Blocking the legislation could prove problematic for the Coalition, which since the departure of Malcolm Turnbull following the leadership spill has fewer MPs in the house.


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