Agriculture Minister has brought forward the government’s review into the Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock, precipitating the resignation of the review’s chairman.
The deadline to report at the by end of 2019 is now for the end 2018.
Former Western Australian Senator Chris Back has stepped down from the role of committee chairman.
A statement from Minister Littleproud said Mr Back notified he was unable to continue in the role with the new deadline and his competing commitments.
Mr Littleproud said a replacement Chair will be announced in the near future.
ASEL sets the governing standards across Australia’s live export supply chain. The review committee was comprised of Dr Back, a former veterinarian and live export proponent, and animal health and regulatory experts.
It consults with a reference group made up of the RSPCA, the Australian Veterinary Association and a range of livestock industry representative groups.
Dr Back had been a controversial choice for chairman since his appointment by former Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce.
Labor’s Agricultural spokesman Joel Fitzgibbon welcomed the accelerated the reporting date and that Dr Back would be replaced.
“Labor believes that the review committee should be led by someone truly independent of the live sheep trade,” Mr Fitzgibbon said.
“The Government needs to appoint a new and independent chair as a matter of urgency.”