Australian Greens Animal Welfare Spokesperson, Senator Mehreen Faruqi, and Australian Greens Leader, Senator Di Natale, have written to the Prime Minister demanding a free vote on their live export bill, which passed the Senate in September. They have also called for Liberal MPs who want to support the bill not to be punished by the party.
Several Liberal MPs, such as Sussan Ley MP, Sarah Hendersen MP and Jason Wood MP have expressed deep concerns about Live Exports and the Greens believe they could vote for the bill if it were brought on for a vote. Ms Ley and Ms Henderson risk losing their outer ministry if they cross the floor. The letter is available here.
The bill would ban live sheep shipments to the Middle East during the Northern Summer, then completely ban shipments after a five year phase out period.
Senator Faruqi said:
"I appeal to Prime Minister Scott Morrison to allow a vote on live exports and to not punish MPs who vote with their conscience. He needs to respect democracy and recognise that a majority of the Parliament, not to mention the community, want this trade shut down. He needs to allow a free vote with no retribution for those that care about animal welfare issues"
"We know there are people in the Liberal Party who would support ending the worst aspects of the live sheep trade if a free vote were allowed in the House of Representatives.
"The Live Export industry deserves no more chances," she concluded.