The annual cost of departmental employees who now oversee the live ex industry has risen to $15 million. The new computer system required to run this woeful industry will cost $222.2 million so now the Government is finally asking 19 businesses to pay! 19 businesses in Australia being propped up to this extent! And the exporter response to the Australian government’s plan to recoup the costs of certifying and regulating the live export industry: “Our competitiveness is being shot to pieces”!
Beef Central reports that since the Awassi Express controversy in 2018, the Federal Government has expanded the amount of resourcing it needs to regulate the industry. Annual license fees are set to increase from $25,000 to $106,551, approved arrangement fees for sea shipments from $20,000 to $85,241, and the cost to register an export premises will increase from $5,000 to $21,311, reports Beef Central.
The Awassi Express controversy is just one of countless animal welfare tragedies that has shocked the nation. This is an industry which has consistently shown that self-regulation does not provide adequate animal welfare, or indeed crew welfare, outcomes. Yet, the 19 licenced exporters operating at the moment expect the Department to “streamline their regulatory processes.”
Really? AMSA has already decided to step up its regulation of the industry after recent tragedies such as the loss of the Gulf Livestock 1 and the danger to the crew posed by the unseaworthy Barkly Pearl, and VALE welcomes the Department’s move to recoup its losses as it tries to improve the performance of the trade. What other business gets this level of taxpayer subsidy? It is time to stop pandering to an industry that repeatedly endangers crews and cargo when it could readily be replaced by Australia’s boxed meat trade.