With another LSS live export ship, Bader111, due to be docked in the Port today, the unlikely pairing of The Greens and The Meatworkers Union (AMIEU) have joined forces in a call for an exit plan for live exports that would create a boom for SA jobs in the local meat processing industry.
AMIEU figures highlight that around 150 meat processing plants have shut down across Australia due to the live export trade – taking with them up to 40,000 jobs over the last two decades. The combined call comes also in the wake of revelations that federal minister David Littleproud had gifted $146m to Vietnam* to prop up the failing live export industry.
Greens Animal Welfare Spokesperson Tammy Franks MLC said: “These cruel live exports are also a death knell for Aussie jobs, with flow-on impacts from individual jobs lost carrying through to all local businesses in small rural and regional towns – impacting the long term viability of entire communities.
“Australians clearly expect and demand the highest possible animal welfare standards to apply to the handling and treatment of our livestock, whether at home or abroad. Live exports don’t just outsource cruelty offshore, they export jobs – and plenty of them.
“Little wonder then that the Australian Meat Industry Employees Union (AMIEU) has opposed the live export trade for many years, due to the role of that export market in the closure of abattoirs and consequent loss of jobs throughout regional Australia.
“Ending live export offers a win-win outcome for both animal welfare and Australian jobs. The full potential of Australia's livestock industry will only be realised when we stop the cruel and inhumane live export trade and look to create Aussie jobs by value adding to the raw product and marketing chilled, disease-free meat to countries where we currently export live animals,” Ms Franks concluded.
SA/WA AMIEU Secretary Sharra Anderson said: “SA has skilled people ready to process meat here in SA. We have the capacity, we just need leadership from government to make it happen.
“Grants to overseas workers should end now, they are a kick in the guts to local workers,” Ms Anderson concluded.