Live export ban vote expected Thursday

A senior Labor MP has revealed he’ll turn a government bill to introduce harsher penalties for sheep exporters who break the rules into an attempt to ban the industry outright.

Joel Fitzgibbon expects to put forward an amendment to government legislation on Thursday to ban the summer trade at the first opportunity and phrase it out altogether over five years.

The amendment would institute the same changes as a private members’ bill put forward by Liberal MP Sussan Ley and supported by colleagues Jason Wood and Sarah Henderson.

Mr Fitzgibbon told parliament on Wednesday of his intention to move the motion, urging government MPs to give the proposal serious thought overnight.

But two West Australian Liberal MPs were immediately vocal in their opposition, with both Rick Wilson and Nola Marino warning a ban could have immediate impacts on producers in their state.

If the amendment doesn’t pass, Labor will still support the legislation in its original form.

It would introduce a 10-year prison sentence, fines of at least $4.2 million for companies or $2.1 million for individuals.

Source: The West Australian.