Ending Live Sheep Export Bill: Report Released

House of Representatives

The Australian Parliament’s Agriculture Committee has presented its advisory report for its inquiry into the Export Control Amendment (Ending Live Sheep Exports by Sea) Bill 2024, which will end the live sheep export trade by sea by 1 May 2028.

The inquiry examined the provisions of the bill, including the authority for Commonwealth spending to assist those impacted to prepare and adapt.

Committee Chair, Ms Meryl Swanson MP, said: ‘The bill fulfils the Albanese Government’s election promise to end the live export of sheep by sea while providing time and money for the orderly transition of industry to new avenues of production and trade.’

While acknowledging the strong opposition of sections of industry and local WA communities, Ms Swanson said that: ‘This matter has been extensively canvassed by governments and communities. The time has come to transition away from this trade. Like all transitions, it will not be without pain, but the outcome will provide industry with long-term certainty in line with community expectations.’

In addition to recommending that the bill be passed, the Committee has made two recommendations including that the Australian Government:

  • considers making additional funding available to support the industry transition, potentially through the 2026 stocktake of industry progress; and
  • continues to seek opportunities to work with the Western Australian Government to refine and implement the transition support package.

The Committee held two public hearings in Canberra and Muresk, Western Australia, which took important evidence from a range of stakeholders representing industry, government, local communities and animal welfare groups. It received over 13,000 contributions from people supporting and opposing the bill and offering feedback on its contents.

The Committee would like to thank all those who contributed to the inquiry through written submissions, correspondence and giving evidence at public hearings.

The full report can be found on the Committee’s inquiry webpage.

/Public Release.