• 10/11/2015: Debate speech in support of the disallowance motion regarding the Native Game Birds Regulation 2015

    The Animal Justice Party supports the motion moved by Mr David Shoebridge to disallow the Game and Feral Animal Control Amendment (Native Game Birds) Regulation 2015. I understand that the regulation relates to the shooting of birds that are supposed to be stationary. I used to work as a duck rescuer in the field before the Act to ban recreational duck shooting became law. We clearly opposed the killing of those birds for recreational purposes. Significantly, I and other rescuers noticed that when a shot was fired at a flock only one or two birds would drop to the ground. If they were lucky they were killed instantly. As we continued to watch the remaining flock fly across the lake two, three or four more birds would slowly drop away. They were the birds that died long, lingering deaths from shot pellets in their bodies.

    Read the full speech HERE

    Watch the full speech below.

  • 08/09/2015: Adjournment speech on Uncle Max Dulumunmun Harrison, an Elder of the Yuin people

    Uncle Max Dulumunmun Harrison is a Yuin elder connected to his tribal lands of the South Coast of New South Wales. As a young man he was chosen for initiation into tribal lore. He learnt the ancient wisdoms and spent many years learning about caring for country.

    For more than 30 years, Uncle Max has been passionate about educating people from a variety of backgrounds. With his family, he provides cultural training and education via their Ngaran Ngaran Culture Awareness consultancy. He has been invited to speak about the importance of maintaining traditional wisdom in Japan, Finland, France, and the United States of America and across Australia. In 2009 he published a book titled My People’s Dreaming “to raise awareness of Aboriginal spirituality and to explain how we connect to the land”.

    His teachings cover the Yuin people’s creation dreaming, bush lore, foods, healing, laws and punishment, spirituality and the significance of our relationship to land and to animals. Uncle Max is greatly concerned about proper respect for the environment and the animals that share country with us—we all are bound together by a spiritual connection. He notes:

    People are saying what are we going to do about climate change, what are we going to do about the ozone layer? They are looking up there at the ozone layer. It is not up there that’s the problem, it’s down here. And this is what I am trying to show people and teach them.

    uncle-max-harrison-aboriginal-elder-2

    That deep connection with land includes a proper relationship with animals. At certain times of the year, Uncle Max will perform ceremonies to ensure that the whales are sent on their way to protect the fish and to look after the food and medicines in the ocean.

    Uncle Max is also an expert adviser to The Think Tank for Kangaroos [THINKK] and has raised a number of concerns about the killing of kangaroos for commercial and non-commercial purposes. He has expressed concern that the mass killing of kangaroos is damaging dreaming tracks across Australia.

    Uncle Max recently said to Chinese officials, “Please don’t eat our kangaroos and I would never eat your pandas.”

    Read the full speech here

  • 26/08/2015: Debate speech on NSW Ag-Gag Bill, the so called Biosecurity Bill 2015

    The Animal Justice Party agrees with the principle that biosecurity in New South Wales is everybody’s responsibility but, as the bill currently exists, we cannot support it for three reasons. Firstly, the Executive Government is insisting on exercising excessive power, let alone its refusal to give that administration to the police and the judiciary. That strikes at the fundamental principle of the Westminster system, which is held in high esteem and based on fundamental democracy. Secondly, the Executive Government is insisting on excessively punitive penalties. Thirdly, as has been trumpeted from the rooftops by the Government, the Government is claiming that this bill is crucial to protecting the activities of agribusiness that include intensive farming or factory farming of poultry, pigs and cattle by cracking down on activists who document cruelty to animals. That is what they do: they document cruelty to animals—nothing else—and therein lies the rub.

    There is absolutely no evidence—zilch, nil evidence—that activists have brought any disease onto any farm property in New South Wales.

    animal-justice-party-ag-gag-1

    Read the full speech HERE

    Watch the full speech below.

  • 30/06/2015: Baiada/Steggles worker mistreatment

    A video blog that I filmed in relation to the expose of Baiada/Steggles treatment of low paid workers. I highlight the connection between human exploitation and animal exploitation as well as the suffering that goes hand in hand with modern day poultry industry.

    Click below to watch the video  –

  • 04/06/2015: Question Without Notice, Live Cattle Export

    The Hon. MARK PEARSON: My question without notice is directed to the Minister for Primary Industries, and Minister for Lands and Water. Is the Minister aware that the Northern Star newspaper reported yesterday, 3 June 2015, that a proposal is in place to commence live export of cattle to Indonesia through the Port of Yamba? If so, will the Government legislate to prevent the live export of New South Wales cattle because in doing so it would reflect the extreme concern most citizens of New South Wales have for the welfare of these animals while at sea for 12-plus days and during handling and slaughter in Indonesia, over which Australia has no jurisdiction in animal protection?

    The Hon. NIALL BLAIR: I thank the Hon. Mark Pearson for his question. I am aware of the article that appeared in the Northern Star. I am also aware that there is an unusual alliance that has expressed a concern about the information in that article: the meat workers’ union and animal activists in the area. The issue of live trade is a matter for the Commonwealth Government. Currently there are no live export port-handling facilities in New South Wales. Any such proposal would need to be approved by the Commonwealth Government. The only live export trade from New South Wales is genetic export such as sheep and goats, which leave New South Wales by plane. New South Wales supports the Commonwealth’s tough standards and protocols for live export and works to see these as an important measure in protecting the reputation of our livestock industries.

    Two weeks ago I met with other agriculture Ministers from across Australia and the issue of live export was raised, particularly by the Queensland Minister for Agriculture and the Northern Territory Minister for Primary Industry and Fisheries. We cannot underestimate the impact that the kneejerk reaction from the previous Federal Labor Government had not only on the live export trade but also on the cattle industry across Australia. It devastated some of the largest employers of Indigenous Australians in northern Australia and put some of those communities into a serious economic downturn. The cattle market has rebounded.

    The Federal Government has worked tirelessly to not only open up other potential markets for live export but also to make sure that we are at the forefront of animal welfare standards when it comes to live export. If Australia was to step out of that market it would more than likely be filled by another country that does not have as stringent animal welfare standards. Australia has a commitment to assist abattoirs throughout Asia to treat cattle that come from other countries as well as cattle coming from Australia. I thank the Hon. Mark Pearson for his question. There is no such proposal that the New South Wales Government is aware of. It is something that is a matter for the Commonwealth Government.

    The Hon. MARK PEARSON: I ask a supplementary question. Will the Minister please elucidate on his answer as to how the New South Wales Government can legislate to prevent live export through New South Wales to overseas countries?

    The Hon. Duncan Gay: The best barrier is the Port of Yamba. You would not get a boat of that size in there.

    The Hon. NIALL BLAIR: I acknowledge the response from the Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight. He is right, the biggest limiting factor for the Port of Yamba is its physical construction. As to what the New South Wales Government can do to legislate to enable the Commonwealth Government to do something that they are responsible for, if I knew the answer to that I probably would not be standing here.

    Hansard link – HERE

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