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Labor continues to drag out live cattle export saga

Leader of The Nationals David Littleproud has urged the Labor Government to move past legal delays and reach a settlement with cattle producers impacted by the Gillard Government’s unlawful ban on the live cattle industry in 2011.

Recently, the government was due to respond to evidence submitted by the legal counsel representing the producers impacted by the ban.

However, despite having six months to respond, the government recently requested a further three-month delay in legal proceedings in the Brett Cattle Case, taking the total time the government has had to respond to nine months.

This request was rejected by industry’s legal representatives, which means the government will today ask the court for a three-month extension.

Mr Littleproud said further delays only stood to prolong the hurt felt by the cattle producers involved.

“The live cattle export ban of 2011 rocked the industry to its core and not only had a major financial impact on the live export industry but also on the related industries that rely upon it,” Mr Littleproud said.

“This government is continuing to try and kick this issue down the road further, which considering this has now been going on for more than 12 years, is just shameful.

“A resolution for this case is well overdue and I urge the government to stop playing politics and reach a satisfactory conclusion for everyone involved.”

Mr Littleproud’s calls come after the federal government offered the claimants a $215 million settlement late last year.

However, Mr Littleproud said the counteroffer was disappointing. Industry has proposed compensation of $510 million plus interest plus costs which would likely see a settlement to those affected of between $800 million and $900 million.

“Frankly, the government’s offer was insulting to everyone involved,” Mr Littleproud said.

“The time has come for this government to come to the table with a meaningful offer and finally put this sad chapter in the Labor Government’s history to rest.”

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