Compensation to help export-reliant transporters


Federal Government announces compensation package for companies and individuals reliant on the live cattle export trade with Indonesia

By Rob McKay | June 27, 2011

Small companies and individuals who rely on the live cattle export trade with Indonesia for more than half of their income can apply for financial assistance following the temporary ban, Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig says today.

The $3 million package will include Income Recovery Subsidy payments and priority assistance through Job Services Australia for those who have lost their employment.

The government imposed a six-month ban on live exports to Indonesia after footage aired on ABC’s Four Corners program showed animal cruelty inside the country’s slaughterhouses.

"This assistance package will ensure employees and small business owners who earn the majority of their income from the live cattle trade to Indonesia receive support in the short term," Ludwig says.

He says assistance will be paid from June 7 – when the ban was announced – and will assist individuals for up to 13 weeks.

The package is separate to the $5 million animal welfare contingency fund currently being negotiated with the industry. A Centrelink hotline - 1800 808 869 - will be established specifically for live export-related applicants.

"Although this assistance will not substitute their full income, it will provide short term assistance while safeguards for the trade are established," Ludwig says.

Ludwig’s announcement has been welcomed by the Australian Livestock Transporters Association.

"This decision is something we have requested continuously from the federal government, commencing from the week in which they announced the ban," ALTA Executive Director Philip Halton says.

"Livestock transporters, together with helicopter musterers, have been at the forefront of people whose jobs and income was immediately affected by the ban.

"When the cattle stop moving, our members’ trucks also stop moving."

Halton says the ALTA is also seeking support from the government to ask banks to offer relief to operators who have been financially affected by the ban.

"Of course, what everyone is really looking for is a sustainable long-term solution to the Indonesian animal welfare concerns," he says.

"Both Minister Ludwig and the prime minister have said they want to see the live export industry continue and Meat and Livestock Australia has announced that they are taking [to] the government a plan on how to restart the trade.

"Most of our members in the Top End haven’t received any information from the government or MLA on when the trade might possibly restart and – critically – how much of the trade might restart."


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