Nationals deputy leader, senator Bridget McKenzie, has labelled two of her coalition liberal colleagues “crazy” for supporting a live sheep export ban.
Federal liberal ministers Sarah Henderson and Sussan Ley in May declared their live sheep export ban stance with the senator yet to directly discuss her concerns with the two MPs.
“I think it’s concerning given both of them represent rural electorates and they would choose to denigrate regional and rural industries,” senator McKenzie said.
“I haven’t personally spoken to Sarah or Susan about their crazy stance.”
“You don’t ban it, you fix it!”
Senator McKenzie’s comment come as federal agriculture minister David Littleproud pledged Australia’s live animal export trade will continue under the current coalition government on Thursday.
Mr Littleproud also backed the government’s mandatory independent observers on all live-ex boats, but senator McKenzie stopped short of supporting the coalition government touted measures, instead opting to wait and see the outcome of a commissioned reports into the matter to “ascertain the veracity of any suggestions”.
Finding of Mr Littleproud’s department review by public sector integrity expert Philip Moss into “capabilities, investigative capacity and culture” to regulating the live export trade, while also promoting the live-ex industry are expected to be handed down this month.
Senator McKenzie said industry and the public need confidence in the base principles independent observers will apply to all situations and reassurance they won’t be subject to coercion.
“So, how do we do that and what is the best way to make sure sheep can travel safely to very hot environments safely.”