Author Topic: Live ex compo 'waste'  (Read 979 times)

WA Export News

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6669
  • Karma: +4/-0
Re: Live ex compo 'waste'
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2012, 12:55:34 AM »
Appears Senator Edwards knows little to nothing about live exports..

Perhaps he could provide proof of his apparent unsubstantiated claim that the industry "lost thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in income" as a result of the temporary ban?

Perhaps he is unable to provide proof because there is none?
« Last Edit: June 11, 2012, 11:36:13 AM by WA Export News »

Export News Tasmania

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3017
  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Live ex compo 'waste'
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2012, 07:31:08 PM »
Would this be the same Senator Edwards who had trouble managing his Comcar entitlements and ASIC violations? The one who was on the Heffernan Senate Committee - whose background is in real estate? His animal welfare credentials are even weaker than his economic ones.

From The Australian,
December 05, 2011

'SOUTH Australian Liberal senator Sean Edwards is alleged to have used misleading and deceptive conduct to convince a small businessman in Victoria to invest more than $400,000 in a Clare Valley vineyard that failed to deliver promised financial returns.
Senator Edwards, who since taking his seat in parliament on July 1 has been embroiled in controversy over his use of taxpayer-funded entitlements and for filing an incomplete declaration of business interests, is also alleged to have breached sections of the Australian Securities & Investments Commission Act.

Export News Tasmania

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3017
  • Karma: +0/-0
Live ex compo 'waste'
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2012, 07:25:19 PM »
SOUTH Australian Liberal Senator Sean Edwards has accused the government of “waste and mismanagement” by spending $1.22 million to hand out a meagre $68,000 under its live exports trade compensation scheme.The federal government established the $100m compensation scheme to provide financial support for Australian cattle producers and other export industry businesses caught up in last year’s snap suspension of the live cattle trade to Indonesia.

The Senator uncovered the blow-out while questioning Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) officials and the Minister during Senate Budget Estimates last week.
The income recovery subsidy was designed to provide income assistance for individuals impacted by the ban through loss of work, but unable to access Newstart due to the time needed to elapse before qualification.

Senator Edwards said he was angered the scheme’s administration costs were nearly 18 times more than the benefits delivered in the actual scheme.

He was also critical of Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig - who accompanied Department officials during questioning - accusing him of being “blasé” about the “exorbitant administration costs”.

DAFF defended its position, saying the $1.22m was a fixed cost required by the Human Services Department to establish the compensation scheme, with significant costs attributed to IT services.

DAFF secretary Dr Conall O'Connell said the cost was settled between the two Departments.

“This is the normal practice for delivering a program like this through Human Services,” he said.

During the hearing, Senator Ludwig said the scheme ”does come with a cost; you have to bear that cost to make it available as to whether or not there is uptake”.

But Senator Edwards said DAFF received a $1.22m “windfall” from the Agriculture Department for dishing out not many dollars.

“The Minister claimed that Human Services was best placed to deliver the scheme, arguing that they have over 300 officers nationally and are set up to deliver payments of this nature,” he said.

“However, this ran contrary to his later statement that the $1.22m expended was needed for ‘fixed set up costs and IT’.”

Senator Edwards said if the Human Services Department had administered the program effectively, administration should have been a fraction of that cost.

But Minister Ludwig disagreed with Senator Edward’s suggestion that Human Services had received a “windfall”.

Minister Ludwig said the cattle industry called for assistance, saying it was disadvantaged by the trade suspension, but “In this instance, the noise was more than what the uptake was”.

“If there was little uptake, it is probably good in one respect: it means that people found they found alternative work, they mitigated against the suspension and, therefore, they also saved the Commonwealth additional money,” he said.

However, Senator Edwards said if Minister Ludwig hadn’t closed the trade so abruptly, the government would have saved millions of dollars by not having to provide assistance - and the industry would not have lost thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in income.

“We’ve already seen live export permits to Indonesia cut from the current 520,000 head of cattle to just 280,000 head next year,” he said.

“The live export industry deserves much more from this government which crippled an industry and wasted millions on administering a simple program.”

Senator Edwards said the compensation scheme was poorly designed to begin with, leading to the low uptake.

“On every aspect of the provision of assistance they’ve missed the mark -now that’s manifested in this class action from 21 cattle producers from Minter Ellison lawyers and another action with three other industry members, also included in the budget contingency papers this year,” he said.

“And I’m sure we haven’t seen the end of it.

“I consider spending $1.22m to administer only $68,000 in payments as gross inattention to what was required.”    Print height=13

COLIN BETTLES 07 Jun, 2012
« Last Edit: June 11, 2012, 12:52:57 AM by WA Export News »