Author Topic: Liberals attack Senator Carr in an effort to capture votes. 29.4.2013  (Read 792 times)

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Liberals attack Senator Carr in an effort to capture votes. 29.4.2013
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2013, 12:46:15 AM »
Carr 'conflicted' on live cattle exports.     

FOREIGN Minister Bob Carr has come under fire for championing animal rights charity Voiceless while also being responsible for helping to restore Australia's flagging live cattle sales to Indonesia.
Opposition foreign affairs and trade spokeswoman Julie Bishop accused Senator Carr of a lack of action on cattle exports.

"That trade has not recovered from Labor's catastrophic decision in 2011 to ban live exports to Indonesia, which has had a devastating impact on the industry in northern Australia," Ms Bishop said.

She said the minister had done nothing to rebuild trust with Indonesia.

"Senator Carr must explain whether his relationship with this animal rights activist group has been a factor in his lack of action in restoring the live cattle export trade with Indonesia," she said.

The Sydney-based charity Voiceless was established by Brian Sherman, the founder of fund manager Equitilink and now a philanthropist, and his daughter Ondine. Senator Carr is a member of its governing council.

The organisation also lists retired High Court judge Michael Kirby, actor Hugo Weaving, Nobel Prize-winning author John Coetzee and former Treasury chief Ken Henry among its patrons.

Voiceless chief executive Dana Campbell has said that in the charity's view, "there are no conditions under which animals can be humanely exported live for slaughter".

This February, Voiceless presented a submission to a Senate inquiry detailing this position.

Senator Carr said last year: "What I want to do is to elevate Australian-Indonesian diplomatic conversations above the transactional issues, that is, people-smuggling, live animal exports and the occasional consular incident."

Ross Taylor, the chairman of the Indonesia Institute, a West Australia-based organisation aimed at promoting relations between Australia and Indonesia, said Senator Carr appeared to have a conflict of interest.

In response, Senator Carr said: "I will always advocate for the rights of animals. Apart from anything else, it fits in with my views on nature conservation."

He said his views were not in conflict with government policy on live animal exports: "No, I live in the real world."