Northern Territory Shadow Minister for Business David Tollner
Time To Go, Joe
Victor P Taffa
The Chief Minister must swallow his pride, stand up for Territorians and lobby his Federal counterparts to sack Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig.
Shadow Business Minister, David Tollner, said the Northern Territory Parliament sent a very clear message to Canberra tonight that Senator Ludwig’s tenure as Agriculture Minister is now untenable.
“Joe Ludwig has single-handedly brought the Northern Territory’s cattle industry to its knees.” Mr. Tollner said.
“In the process, he has shattered the livelihoods of thousands of Territorians either involved directly in the cattle industry or businesses that service the pastoral sector.”
“The bans were in place for a month, but the impact is still decimating the social and economic fabric of the Northern Territory.” Mr. Tollner said.
“Joe Ludwig’s blatant disregard for the interests and welfare of Territorians is an absolute disgrace.”
“He panicked when he saw the Four Corners program that showed acts of cruelty towards Australian livestock in Indonesian abattoirs.”
“As well, he bowed to pressure from his backbench colleagues and the Greens and threw the Northern Territory to the wolves.” Mr. Tollner said.
“In the process, he ignored advice from his own Department and industry groups that the Federal Government should work with the live cattle export industry to deal with community anger as a result of the Four Corners program.”
“Of course he was aided and abetted by his counterparts in the Northern Territory Labor Party who threw their support behind the ban.”
“Even during tonight’s debate the Agriculture Minister, Kon Vatskalis, described the ban as ‘justified’.” Mr. Tollner said.
“Well the Northern Territory Parliament doesn’t think the ban was justified and with the support of Independent, Gerry Wood and without any formal dissent from Government members the Assembly supported a:
• Call upon the Gillard Government to remove Senator Joe Ludwig from the Agriculture portfolio for his incompetent handling of issues pertaining to the live cattle export trade;
• Condemn the Gillard Government for an ill considered and poorly executed response to issues arising in the live cattle export industry.
“The Chief Minister must relay the will of the Parliament to the Prime Minister and his Labor mates in Canberra.
“A failure to do so would represent another act of betrayal of the Territory by his Government.” Mr. Tollner said.