The Australian Government has committed to phasing out live sheep exports from Australia by sea.
The phase out will not take place during this current term of the Australian Parliament. This will provide time for individuals and businesses to prepare for a transition away from live sheep exports by sea.
The phase out does not apply to other livestock export industries, such as live cattle exports, nor does it apply to live sheep exports by air.
The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator the Hon Murray Watt has appointed an independent panel to consult with stakeholders. The panel will provide advice on how and when the government will phase out live sheep exports by sea.
Panel members have been selected based on their diverse set of skills and experiences. This includes in agriculture, public administration, economics, and animal welfare. Panel members also bring an understanding of the needs and challenges affecting rural and regional communities.
The panel will undertake face-to-face consultation across Australia, deliver virtual forums, and seek and consider written submissions.
The panel will engage with stakeholders including farmers, exporters, supply chain participants, trading partners, communities, animal welfare organisations, Indigenous Australians, State and Territory governments, and other relevant parties.
The panel will provide its report to the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry by 30 September 2023.
Consultation will not consider the merits or otherwise of the government’s policy to phase out live sheep exports by sea.
The panel members
Mr Phillip Glyde has 42 years’ experience as a senior executive in the Australian Public Service. Throughout his distinguished career, Mr Glyde has been devoted to matters of critical importance for the nation, navigating complex and often contested policy areas.
He brings a wealth of experience in advising governments, an economics background, and a strong understanding of the agricultural sector.
As the former Chief Executive Officer of the Murray Darling Basin Authority from 2016 to 2021, Mr Glyde delivered significant reforms in challenging circumstances including the Northern Basin review, the 2020 Basin Plan Evaluation and regionalisation of the MDBA.
Prior to leading the MDBA, Mr Glyde was the Deputy Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and Executive Director of ABARES.
He has worked on natural resource management, industry and environmental policies in a number of other departments, including Prime Minister and Cabinet, Environment, and Resources and Energy.
His overseas appointments include the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris, and the United Kingdom Cabinet Office and Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
Mr Glyde has a Bachelor of Natural Resources with Honours from the University of New England and a Bachelor of Economics from the Australian National University.
The Hon Warren Snowdon is a former federal minister with over 30 years’ experience in government. Having served more than three decades as a representative for the Northern Territory, Mr Snowdon brings significant understanding and connection to the Australian agriculture industry and rural and regional communities.
During his time in the Australian Parliament, Mr Snowdon held several ministerial portfolios, including being the first to take the role of Minister for Indigenous Health and was, for a time, also responsible for Rural and Regional Health and Regional Service Delivery. He was also Minister for Defence Science and Personnel, Minister for Veterans Affairs and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on the Centenary of ANZAC.
Mr Snowdon served as Parliamentary Secretary and Shadow Parliamentary Secretary on matters including regional and urban development; employment, education and training; environment, sport and territories; transport and infrastructure (Northern Australia and the Territories); Northern Australia; and Indigenous affairs.
Before serving in the Australian Parliament, Mr Snowdon worked as a public servant including in the Department of Primary Industry and the Department of Trade; as a teacher in the Northern Territory; and for a time was employed as a researcher at the Australian National University, before joining the Central Land Council in Alice Springs immediately prior to entering Parliament in 1987.
Ms Sue Middleton is a farmer and respected agribusiness leader.
Ms Middleton and her husband Michael have developed Moora Citrus. She is a Director on the Moora Citrus group of companies, which leads the WA citrus production and export program.
Ms Middleton has held extensive board and leadership roles in agriculture and regional development for over three decades. Her experience includes the Council of Australian Governments Reform Council, the National Regional Women’s Advisory Council, the Australian Research Council, and the National Rural Advisory Council. She has also been a Commissioner on the WA Agricultural Produce Commission.
She is a passionate advocate for regional Western Australia and has a deep understanding of government policy, agribusiness and the regional development sector.
Ms Middleton was the national winner of the Australian Rural Women’s Award in 2010, where she focussed on highlighting the importance of agriculture tackling greenhouse gas emissions. She won the Centenary Medal for services to regional and rural Australia in 2002 and was inducted into the Western Australia Women’s Hall of Fame in 2018.
Ms Heather Neil is an experienced CEO and Executive Director with a deep understanding of community governance, animal welfare science and advocacy. She has extensive experience in public policy, regulation and reform in the area of social change.
Prior to this appointment, Ms Neil was Chief Executive Officer of RSPCA Australia for 12 years, taking a leading role in advocating for positive change for the welfare of animals in Australia. She also served as the Director of Stewardship at CropLife Australia for four years.
Ms Neil is currently the Executive Director at TrackSAFE Foundation, a charity focused on reducing deaths, injuries and near hits on Australia’s rail networks.
Have Your Say
We want to hear what the phase out means for you
You can engage with the panel by providing your views on the phase out of live sheep exports by sea by visiting the Have Your Say consultation page.
We are seeking input on:
- how the government should phase out live sheep exports by sea
- the timeframe to implement the phase out
- how the phase out will impact exporters, farmers and other businesses across the supply chain
- support and adjustment options for those impacted by the phase out
- opportunities, including options to expand domestic processing and increase sheep meat exports.
Your feedback will help to inform planning for how and when the phase out of live sheep exports will be implemented.
The consultation will not consider the merits or otherwise of the government’s policy to phase out live sheep exports by sea.
Read the consultation paper on the phase out of live sheep exports by sea.
Factsheet: Consultation on the phase out live sheep exports by sea (PDF 138 KB)
Factsheet: Consultation on the phase out live sheep exports by sea (DOCX 211 KB)
Terms of reference for consultation on the phase out of live sheep exports by sea (PDF 237 KB)
Terms of reference for consultation on the phase out of live sheep exports by sea (DOCX 210 KB)
If you have difficulty accessing these files, visit web accessibility for assistance.
To contact us or request a meeting with the independent panel, please email email@example.com