Author Topic: Banning exports a vote winner.  (Read 696 times)

WA Export News

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Banning exports a vote winner.
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2013, 01:48:54 AM »
CANDIDATES who pledge to end the live export trade have a much greater chance of winning votes at the election, according to an opinion poll to be released today. 

The Nielsen poll, commissioned by the World Society for the Protection of Animals, found 67 per cent of Australians were more likely to vote for a party or candidate who promises to ban all live sheep and cattle exports.

Women are more inclined than men to change their vote if a policy platform pledges a stop to live exports, with three-quarters of all female voters "likely" or "much more likely" to support a candidate opposed to live exports.

Greens and Labor voters were more likely to support a ban, although more than half of Liberal voters also backed the move.

Critically, 71 per cent of undecided or swinging voters said a candidate pledging to stop live animal exports would be more likely to win their vote.

Jodie Jankevics, WSPA Australia's campaign head said the research confirmed the live animal export trade was a key election issue this year.

While two-thirds of Australians would vote for a political party that promises to end live exports, 86 per cent support a gradual phasing-out of the trade in favour of a greater focus on chilled beef and lamb exports.

Since live exports to Indonesia were banned for a month in 2011 after the exposure of cruelty to cattle in an Indonesia abattoir, there has been a concerted effort by organisations such as WSPA and Animals Australia together with union support to prove to Australians that the live trade is not only cruel but costs the nation jobs and economic activity.

WSPA estimates 2200 local jobs would be created if all 2 million sheep and 450,000 cattle exported live each year to overseas markets were slaughtered in Australian abattoirs, with their meat then exported instead.

"So many voters feel so strongly about live export that it has become a no-brainer for MPs and candidates to support a transition away from live exports," Ms Jankevics said yesterday. "It will boost the economy, it will bring regional jobs, it is good for the animals and it's evidently a vote winner."

Greens voters were the most likely to support candidates opposed to live exports, with 88 per cent saying it was a vote changer. But 73 per cent of Labor voters and 54 per cent of Liberal voters also said an end to live exports as important to their polling decision, while the issue mattered greatly to 75 per cent of 35-39 year olds.

The Nielsen survey of 1500 voters across all states found just 14 per cent of voters would be less likely to vote for a political candidate if they opposed live exports.

A separate Nielsen poll of 200 voters in six marginal urban electorates -- Barton and Kingsford Smith in Sydney, Braddon and Denison in Tasmania, and Fremantle and Perth in Western Australia -- found sentiment backing a live export ban and a transition to meat exports generally similar to levels across the rest of Australia.

Only the Hobart seat of Denison held by independent Andrew Wilkie, who has made opposition to all live exports a key tenet of his term, registered an unusually strong reaction, with 81 per cent of voters likely to change their vote to a candidate backing a ban.

Mr Wilkie said Denison, often nominated as the greenest seat in Australia, was a sophisticated electorate and where he would expect voters to be appalled by the cruelty of the trade.

Ms Jankevics said some Labor candidates were publicly opposing the live export trade, including its candidate in Denison, Jane Austin.
  • by: Sue Neales, Rural reporter
  • From:  The Australian 
  • August 14, 2013