Showing posts with label government policy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label government policy. Show all posts

Monday, 14 January 2019

Four months out from a federal election Australian PM Scott Morrison decides to irritate 537 local government councils & their ratepayers


The timing of the announcement by Australian Prime Minister and Liberal MP for Cook Scott Morrison concerning a new code for citizenship ceremonies was probably was probably meant to distract the national electorate from the sight of the ecological disaster occurring along the Murray-Darling Basin river systems.

Instead it irritated a great many voters four months out from the federal election and reminded ratepayers that he expected them to foot the bill for mandatory citizenship ceremonies to be held on 26 January every year from 2020 onwards.

Australian Local Government Association, media release, 13 January 2018:

FEDS' COERCIVE APPROACH TO AUSTRALIA DAY CITIZENSHIP CEREMONIES HEAVY-HANDED

Today’s announcement by the Federal Government to force councils to hold citizenship ceremonies on Australia Day as a response to the debate to change the date of this national holiday is heavy-handed and odd, according to the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA), the peak body representing local government and councils Australia-wide.

ALGA President, Mayor David O’Loughlin, said that most councils likely won’t be opposed to the Federal Government’s proposed changes to the Australian Citizenship Ceremonies Code but councils will have valid concerns, not excuses, that will need to be addressed.

“The priviledge of Australian citizenship is highly respected by the Australian community and councils value their role in holding citizenship ceremonies and being a part of this important commitment,” Mayor O’Loughlin said.

“However, most councils hold more than one citizenship ceremony a year, some as often as monthly. The Federal Government’s strong focus on drawing a link between Australia Day and citizenship ceremonies is bizarre.

“If the Federal Government had bothered to consult with us in the development of this policy, they would have heard that in some locations, it’s simply too hot for councils to hold ceremonies during the day, so they do it the evening before, just as the Federal Government does with its Australian of the Year Ceremony.

“Other councils combine their citizenship ceremonies with their local Australia Day Citizen of the Year Awards which are often held in the week before Australia Day, just as many of the State and Territory Governor’s do with their Australia Day Awards ceremonies.

“It would make more sense for the Federal Government to insist on local, state and their own level of government holding events to celebrate Australia Day Honours and Citizens of the Year on Australia Day, rather than only insisting on local councils holding a citizenship ceremony on the 26th of January, especially given Citizenship Day is the 17th of September, months after Australia Day.

“We do acknowledge that a small number of councils are in discussions with their communities about whether the 26th of January is the appropriate day to celebrate Australia Day.

“However, councils cannot move Australia Day - this is ultimately up to the Federal Government – but it is our job to be responsive to our communities, including to their calls for prudence and advocacy.”

ALGA has responded to the Federal Government’s strong commitment to change the Australian Citizenship Ceremonies Code with calls for it to show an equally strong commitment to assist councils with issues – such as cost – that may come with holding the ceremonies on Australia Day.

“There are significant additional event and staff costs associated with holding citizenship ceremonies on a public holiday, which is why some councils sensibly choose to hold it on a weekday instead,” Mayor O’Loughlin said.

“Interestingly, the Federal Government has made no mention of any financial contribution towards the additional costs involved in running these ceremonies - ceremonies conducted on behalf of the Federal Government - instead opting to continue a pattern of cost-shifting to councils.

“There is very real pressure on council budgets nationally and the Federal Government must put their money where their mouth is if they are serious about their proposal.

“The Federal Government must lift its core funding to local government, Financial Assistance Grants (FAGs), back to 1% of Commonwealth Taxation Revenue (CTR) – levels last seen in 1996.

“This funding has been in steady decline for the past 20 years and, unless the Federal Government does something to fix it, today’s announcement will be seen as just another cost-shifting tactic.

“Our local and diverse communities matter, and so do their pools, beaches, libraries, sporting grounds, parks and the safety of their local roads. Therefore the 1% funding to local governments and local communities should be of far more importance to the Federal Government.”

Further information about ALGA’s call to restore Financial Assistance Grants to 1% of CTR is available on www.allpoliticsislocal.com.au [my yellow highlighting]

Thursday, 3 January 2019

The Liberal Party of Australia: fighting to suppress climate science & avoiding responsibility for greenhouse gas emissions since 1996



The Age, 1 January 2019:

The Howard government was urged more than 20 years ago to consider an emissions trading scheme, while its signature plans to deal with Australia's greenhouse gas emissions were considered by its own departments to be merely aimed at deflecting global criticism.

As the Morrison government continues to fight a debilitating internal battle over how to deal with climate change, previously secret papers from the 1990s reveal a suite of major government departments said the most effective and efficient way to deal with greenhouse gases was to impose a carbon price.

Cabinet papers from 1996 and 1997 released on Tuesday by the National Archives reveal the beginnings of the Howard government's drawn-out response to the threat posed by rising greenhouse gas emissions and the way some of those issues are still playing out in the Morrison government…….

Government departments headed by Prime Minister and Cabinet, Treasury and Foreign Affairs fleshed out the details of a series of proposals backed by the government in September 1997 in a bid to deal with Australia's emissions.
The co-ordinating document produced by the departments, which were aiming to finalise a package discussed at cabinet earlier in the month, made clear the bureaucracy did not believe the government's plans would go nearly far enough in cutting emissions but may be sufficient to deflect international criticism.

"None of the packages presented here would achieve the stabilisation of emissions at 1990 levels," they said.

"Rather, they are aimed at deflecting criticism that Australia is not fully committed to reducing its emissions."

The departments costed a series of proposals which would ultimately become part of the government's official response to climate change.

These included a focus on tree plantations, encouragement for businesses to slice their emissions, the introduction of ethanol into petrol and subsidies to boost investment in renewable energy.

They noted Australia had a "poor international reputation for driving fuel efficient cars", arguing significant gains could be made by improving the nation's car fleet.
Building codes, reform of the energy market and investment in climate research were all encouraged.

But the departments, which acknowledged the government's opposition to a price signal, said these would ultimately be expensive initiatives which would not deliver a real impact on the nation's overall emissions profile.

"The most effective way to reduce emissions would be to combine significant price signals (either general or sectoral increases in taxes on greenhouse producing activities), information so firms and individuals can reduce greenhouse production, opportunities to invest in carbon sinks and some degree of compulsion to address areas where markets cannot be made to work effectively," they said.

"It is generally agreed that reductions will not happen without significant persuasion, incentives or leadership from government."

In late 2006, Mr Howard announced a panel would investigate an emissions trading scheme. Both the Howard government and the Kevin Rudd-led ALP would take a trading scheme policy to the following year's election.

But in 1997, the government's most esteemed departments told cabinet it should consider an ETS even if the results of the study were kept hidden from the public.

"A study of possible emissions trading mechanisms and regulations would help position Australia in the event that emissions trading is introduced internationally," they said.

"This study would not be for public announcement since it may not help our international negotiating position if it became public knowledge."....

The Guardian, 1 January 2018:

In June 1996, cabinet agreed that “Australia’s overall objective in climate change negotiations should be to safeguard our national trade and economic interests while advancing compatible outcomes that are environmentally and economically effective”.

While Australia recognised “the need for effective global action on climate change”, it vowed to pursue an international agreement that “does not contain targets which are legally binding” and argued for differentiated, rather than uniform, reduction targets.

The then environment minister, Robert Hill, reported to cabinet that for the first time the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change scientific report had said that the balance of scientific evidence supported the view that the changes in climate and greenhouse gas concentrations were due to human activity.

Small island states were proposing a 20% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from 1990 levels by 2005. While other time frames were being discussed, all were potentially problematic for Australia because of its carbon-intensive economy.

Hill told the cabinet that modelling showed Australia’s emissions from the energy sector – accounting for half of national emissions – were projected to be 30% above 1990 levels by 2010…..

The consternation grew further by mid-1997. A joint submission to cabinet warned of the prospect of an “EU–US bilateral understanding for progressing climate change” at a forthcoming G7 summit…..

The cabinet actively considered walking away from Kyoto altogether.

It was facing publishing its future emissions as part of the Kyoto process but modelling was now showing that emissions from the energy sector would be 40% to 50% above 1990 levels by 2010…

The cabinet also agreed in July to establish a climate change taskforce to advance Australia’s domestic greenhouse gas strategies, to strengthen its bargaining stance. One option to be explored was “domestic and international emissions trading”.

In the following months, Treasury modelled various measures for reducing domestic emissions.

The memorandum warned that none of its scenarios would cap carbon emissions at 1990 levels but would achieve potential cuts of 22%.

And so began Australia’s long and tortured debate over carbon trading schemes.
A proposal was put forward by the Australian Greenhouse Office in 2000, but was scuttled in cabinet; another came forward in 2003, but was vetoed by Howard.

Finally, in the dying days of his government in December 2006, Howard announced an emissions trading scheme, after bureaucrats convinced him it was the most efficient way to meet Australia’s commitments.

BACKGROUND

National Archives of Australia, 1996 and 1997 – Keating and Howard governments, Cabinet Papers, released 1 January 2018.

The Howard Government fight against taking responsibility for Australia's own domestic greenhouse gas missions.....

See: https://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/NAAMedia/ShowImage.aspx?B=32709070&T=PDF. My apologies for not posting this document but current slow upload times have meant that I cannot yet display this document here.


Saturday, 22 December 2018

Still no hope of a genuine national energy policy as crew on the sinking liner SS Liberal Party brawl on deck



Financial Review, 19 December 2018:

NSW Climate and Energy Minister Don Harwin vowed to push on with his crusade to "end the Canberra climate wars" after federal minister Angus Taylor derailed his proposal to plot a national pathway to net zero emissions by 2050 at an acrimonious Council of Australian Governments' meeting.

Tempers flared at the meeting of energy ministers in Adelaide after Mr Taylor used an obscure procedural rule to block Mr Harwin's motion for a net zero emissions pathway. A furious Mr Harwin said that if Mr Taylor was going to use obscure procedural rules to block a motion supported by most state and territory energy ministers "be it on your own head".

The bitter split between the NSW and federal coalition governments comes as Gladys Berejiklian's NSW Coalition government faces a March 23 election in which climate policy looms large after voters sharply rejected the Morrison government's climate change agnostic energy policies at the Wentworth byelection in October and the Victorian state election in November.

Mr Harwin said in a statement after the meeting: "I am very disappointed by the actions of the federal government at COAG Energy Council in Adelaide today.
"The refusal, on procedural grounds, to let the vital matter of restoring an emissions obligation into national energy policy be discussed is extraordinary. NSW will continue to pursue this critical matter with COAG Energy Council."

…..the NSW-federal government stoush dominated the aftermath of the meeting as Mr Harwin told reporters he was furious that "the Commonwealth used the rule book to try and shutdown a discussion on emissions".

"As a sign of how out of touch they are, they wouldn't let us have the discussion," Mr Harwin said. "NSW is not giving up on this. It's absolutely imperative that we end the Canberra climate wars. "


Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Just three months out from a state election and the NSW Berejiklian Government decides to introduce a new punative public housing policy guaranteed to upset a good many voters



In 2016 est. 37,715 people in New South Wales were recorded as homeless on Census Night.

The following year the NSW Berejiklian Coalition Government had a public housing stock total of 110,221 dwellings and an est. 60,000 people on the Dept. of Housing 2017 waiting list.

Below is the state government’s answer to the effects of decreasing public housing stock and federal Coalition Government cuts to public housing funding allocations to the states - introduce a new initiative under the 'Opportunity Pathways' program which will cut the housing waiting list by increasing eligibility restrictions, privatise service delivery to certain categories of public housing applicants and tenants in order to ensure that vulnerable individuals and families are discouraged from seeking housing assistance.

The Daily Telegraph, 7 December 2018, p.2:

Public housing applicants will have to get a job if they want a taxpayer-funded home under a tough new test to be introduced in NSW.

The state government is overhauling the public housing system by stopping residents who languish on welfare for decades feeling entitled to a cheap home, paid for by the taxpayer, for their entire life.

Currently less than a quarter of social housing tenants are in the workforce. There are about 55,000 people on the public housing waitlist in NSW, and under the new program they will be able to skip the queue if they agree to get a job.

But if they get into the home then fail to get a job or maintain work they will be booted from the property.

Once they are secure in a job they will then move into the private rental market and out of the welfare system.

Social Housing Minister Pru Goward said the program will “help break the cycle of disadvantage”.

“This is about equipping tenants with the skills they need to not only obtain a job, but keep it over the longer term and achieve their full potential,” she said.

“We also want to set to a clear expectation that social housing is not for life and, for those who can work, social housing should be used as a stepping stone to moving into the private rental market.” The new program will be trialled in Punchbowl and Towradgi, near Wollongong, for three years across 20 properties. Its success will be evaluated over this time and it’s likely the program will be expanded across the state.

Homes will be leased for six months at a time, with renewal dependent on the resident maintaining their job or education, such as TAFE, and meeting agreed goals within the plan.


RFT ID FACS.18.30
RFT Type Expression of Interest for Specific Contracts
Published 23-Aug-2018
Closes 27-Sep-2018 2:00pm
Category (based on UNSPSC)
93140000 - Community and social services
Agency FACS Central Office

Tender Details

The NSW Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) is seeking Expressions of Interest (EOI) from non-government organisatons with the capability to deliver the Opportunity Pathways program.

Opportunity Pathways is designed for social housing tenants and their household members, approved social housing applicants and clients receiving Rent Choice subsidies who aspire and have the capacity to, with the appropriate support, gain, retain and increase employment.

The program is voluntary and uses a person-centred case management approach to provide wrap-around support and facilitate participant access to services to achieve economic and housing independence (where appropriate).

The objectives of the program are to:

assist participants to gain, retain or increase employment, by accessing supports and practical assistance, and by participating in education, training and work opportunities
encourage and support participants to positively exit social housing or Rent Choice subsidies to full housing independence, to reduce their reliance on governement assistance, where appropriate

Please refer to the Program Guidelines for further details.

Opportunity Pathways will run for three years and delivered across NSW in those locations where a need and service gaps are identified.

The program will be delivered by one or more providers following an EOI and Select Tender.

Location
NSW Regions: Far North Coast, Mid North Coast, New England, Central Coast, Hunter, Cumberland/Prospect, Nepean, Northern Sydney, Inner West, South East Sydney, South West Sydney, Central West, Orana/Far West, Riverina/Murray, Illawarra, Southern Highlands

Estimated Value
From $0.00 to $36,100,000.00

RFT Type
Expression of Interest for Specific Contracts - An invitation for Expression of Interest (EOI) for pre-registration of prospective tenderers for a specific work or service. Applicants are initially evaluated against published selection criteria, and those who best meet the required criteria are invited to Tender (as tender type Pre-Qualified/Invited). [my yellow highlighting]

As of June 2018 in NSW there were 200,564 people registered with Centrelink whose income was Newstart Allowance and, by September there were only est. 82,400 job vacancies available as the Internet Vacancy Index had been falling since April 2018. The number of job vacancies were still falling in October 2018 to 66,000 job vacancies.

Just three months out from a state election and it doesn't appear that the Berejiklian Cabinet or other Liberal and Nationals members of the NSW Parliament have thought this new policy through to its logical conclusion.

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

NSW Liberal & Nationals politicians won't be satisfied until they have turned this state into a wasteland


Echo Net Daily, 3 December 2018:

The North East Forest Alliance has called the process used by the Commonwealth and State Governments to adopt new Regional Forest Agreements as a superficial sham simply intended to lock-up public native forests for private sawmillers at significant environment cost.

North East Forest Alliance spokesperson Dailan Pugh says there has been no attempt to assess or review environmental, industry or social data, instead they are relying on incomplete and out of date assessments undertaken 20 years ago.

’The Governments chose to ignore the recommendation of their own reviewer for a contemporary review that included an assessment of the effects of climate change,’ he said.

‘By rejecting the recommendation of their own review and proceeding on incomplete and out of date assessments the National Party have once again proven that their intent is to lock up public resources for private companies irrespective of the environmental costs and community interests.

Mr Pugh says NEFA are disgusted that the Governments have not publicly released their new RFAs, so it is not possible to know what changes they have made. ‘They are keeping us in the dark,’ he said. ‘The only document they have released is their resource commitments which show they are increasing the cut of high quality logs in north-east NSW by at least 10,000 cubic metres to 230,000m3 per annum, at the same time they are fraudulently claiming a shortfall of 8,600m3 per annum to justify opening up protected old growth and rainforest for logging.’

‘Due to their increased logging intensity they are intending to more than double the cut of small and low-quality logs from 320,000 tonnes per annum to 660,000 tonnes per annum.

‘The increased logging intensity and significant reductions in protections for most threatened species and streams is an environmental crime.

Mr Pugh says that out of more than 5,400 public submissions on the proposed new NSW RFAs, only 23 supported the RFAs. ‘There is no social license to continue the degradation of our public native forests.

‘Plantations already provide 87% of our sawntimber needs, it is time to complete the transition to plantations and establish more plantations on cleared land, while we actively rehabilitate our public native forests to help them recover from past abuses and restore the full suite of benefits they can provide to the community.

BACKGROUND
North Eastern, Southern & Eden Regional Forest Agreements
Image:NSW EPA




Here are links to NSW members of the state parliament:


List of Members, Legislative Council

If any readers wish to contact members of the Berejiklian Government in order stand up for native forests these links provide addresses, telephone numbers and, in the case of the Legislative Assembly, the names of electorates these politicians represent.

Friday, 9 November 2018

When will the Federal Government realise there is a Climate Emergency?



The need for urgent and effective action on climate change is becoming a major issue in Australia .  More people are starting to realise that we are facing a climate emergency and that we are being caught short largely because of the incompetence of our Federal Government which continues to be captive to climate denialists and the coal lobby.

The message from the October 20 Wentworth byelection does not appear to have resonated with Prime Minister Morrison and others in his Government.  Morrison is equating the devastating swing against the Government with the electorate’s concern about the dumping of their popular member, Prime Minister Turnbull.  While that was certainly a factor, there were other concerns about the Government’s poor performance with a major one being its lack of effective climate action.

Despite all that Wentworth voters said about climate change (as well as the way they voted), there are Government members who claim Wentworth cannot be seen as comparable with other electorates. Wentworth is different! According to them, climate change is not a major issue elsewhere.  It will be interesting to see if this wishful thinking lasts until next year’s federal election campaign.

While Wentworth indicated the growing public concern about climate change, other recent developments in relation to climate have further shown how out of touch the Government is. 

Morrison started his Prime Ministership with the determination to assist drought-affected farmers.  But he brushed aside any linking of this latest severe drought with climate change.  However, the National Farmers Federation and an increasing number of farmers acknowledge the link and understand that simply throwing drought relief money at the problem is only a short-term solution.  Calls for discussion about land use in parts of the country are growing.   These include consideration of the viability of some forms of farming and whether farming will be sustainable in some areas as climate change impacts worsen. 

The latest data on Australia’s climate emissions for the twelve months to March 31 was released late on the Friday afternoon of the Grand Final weekend (September 28). The Government had been sitting on this data for months and quite obviously did not want it noticed – for good reason.  The report showed that emissions have continued rising as they have every quarter since the end of the carbon price in 2014. Emissions continue to increase simply because the Government does not have an effective policy to curb them.

Despite this bad result, the Prime Minister and Melissa Price, the Minister for the Environment, managed to put a positive spin on the figures.  Price claimed Australia would beat its 2020 target – an impossible achievement.   And Morrison, ignoring reality completely, claimed Australia was on track to achieve its 2030 Paris targets and would do so “in a canter”.  This is despite the analysis of experts who say we will fall drastically short unless there is an urgent change in government policy.

The recent dire announcement by the IPCC has shown just how urgent the climate issue is.  According to an analysis of the IPCC report published by the Climate Council “limiting global warming to 1.5°C would require rapid and far-reaching transitions during the coming one to two decades – in energy, land, urban and industrial systems”.  (The aim at Paris was to keep global temperature rise well below 2°C above preindustrial levels and to attempt to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C. A rise of 2°C would produce catastrophic effects.)

At war within itself, our Government just does not have either the interest in the issue or the will do what is essential - to act effectively across the board to reduce our emissions drastically. This is in spite of the Wentworth result and all the polls indicating that a growing number of people are concerned and want effective action. 
As well as concerned individuals, scientists, environmentalists and farmers, it is significant that many in the business community, who know they need to take measures to protect their businesses in a carbon-constrained world, also want effective action from the government.

Just what are the chances of the current Government coming to its senses and acting in the national interest?   At the moment that seems unlikely.  We may have to wait for a change in government - unless a grass roots campaign across the nation persuades Morrison that he has no chance of political survival unless he changes tack.

Hildegard

Northern Rivers
29th October 2018

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
GuestSpeak is a feature of North Coast Voices allowing Northern Rivers residents to make satirical or serious comment on issues that concern them. Posts of 250-300 words or less can be submitted to ncvguestspeak AT gmail.com.au for consideration. Longer posts will be considered on topical subjects.


Monday, 5 November 2018

Scott Morrison doesn't know watt's watt


This was the ‘interim’ Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on ABC TV The Drum, 23 September 2018:

SCOTT MORRISON: I want more dispatchable power in the system.
ALAN JONES: Could you stop using the word dispatchable? Out there they don’t understand that.
SCOTT MORRISON: Well, real power, OK?
ALAN JONES: Real power.
SCOTT MORRISON: Well, fair dinkum power.

So what exactly is this “dispatchable power” the Prime Minister is talking about whenever he cites “fair dinkum power” that “works when the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing”.

This is what Energy Education:has to say on the subject:

Dispatchable source of electricity

A dispatchable source of electricity refers to an electrical power system, such as a power plant, that can be turned on or off; in other words they can adjust their power output supplied to the electrical grid on demand.[2] Most conventional power sources such as coal or natural gas power plants are dispatchable in order to meet the always changing electricity demands of the population. In contrast, many renewable energysources are intermittent and non-dispatchable, such as wind power or solar power which can only generate electricity while their energy flow is input on them.

Dispatch times
Dispatchable sources must be able to ramp up or shut down relatively quickly in time intervals within a few seconds even up to a couple of hours, depending on the need for electricity. Different types of power plants have different dispatch times:[3]

Fast (seconds)
Capacitors are able to dispatch within milliseconds if they need to, due to the energy stored in them already being electrical, whereas in other types of power storage such as chemical batteries the power must be converted into electrical energy.
Hydroelectric facilities are also able to dispatch extremely quickly; for instance the Dinorwig hydro power station can reach its maximum generation in less than 16 seconds.[4]

Medium (minutes)
Natural gas turbines are a very common dispatchable source, and they can generally be ramped up in minutes.
Solar thermal power plants can utilize systems of efficient thermal energy storage. It is possible to design these systems to be dispatchable on roughly equivalent timeframes to natural gas turbines.

Slow (hours)
While these systems are typically regarded as only providing baseload power, they often have some flexibility.
Many coal and biomass plants can be fired up from cold within a few hours. Although nuclear power plants may take a while to get going, they must be able to shut down in seconds to ensure safety in the case of a meltdown.

What this tells us is that renewable energy can and is used as “dispatchable power” and often responds faster than coal-fired power.

Battery storage by way of home battery installations and mega battery installations such as the Tesla system in South Australia are just two successful examples of storing renewable power for later use – making it dispatchable power.

According to the Melbourne Energy Institute, South Australia’s new mix of renewables and traditional source of energy is working well.

What has become increasingly obvious over the years is that once renewable energy via wind and solar reaches a reasonable scale it becomes cheaper than coal and other fossil fuels. That is where Australia is now.

Yet Scott Morrison apparently doesn’t understand how electricity generation and the national power grid work – it’s a though he has been asleep for the last decade. Because he appears to believe that renewable energy systems have not evolved to meet market demands.


Which in his mind means more coal-fired power.

Expensive, polluting, coal-fired power supplying electricity to Australian homes at maximum cost to ordinary consumers.

Saturday, 3 November 2018

Tweets of the Week


Monday, 29 October 2018

Morrison Government whittling away at health & safety requirements in live sheep export trade


“Space allocation per animal must be based on allometric principles and increased by at least 30% for sheep that weigh 40 to 60 kg (based on a k-value of 0.033). The typical sheep sent to the Middle East is an adult Merino wether in this weight range. This increase in space (k = 0.033) is the minimum amount needed to alleviate adverse welfare outcomes, and must be implemented across all body weights and all months of the year…. Irrespective of stocking density, thermoregulatory physiology indicates that sheep on live export voyages to the Middle East during May to October will remain susceptible to heat stress and die due to the expected extreme climatic conditions during this time. Accordingly, voyages carrying live sheep to the Middle East during May to October cannot be recommended.”  [Submission from the Australian Veterinary Association, May 2018]
Between January and September 2018 Australia exported 973,651 live sheep.

The majority of these sheep were exported by sea for slaughter at destination and, the size of each sea shipment ranged from 498 animals up to 68,039 animals.

It is not unusual for sheep deaths on these voyages to number in the hundreds.

Overall sheep mortality for the first 6 months of the year ran at 0.61% as of June 2018

That represents almost 6,000 sheep which died due to the stress of the sea voyage and conditions on board the export vessel from January to June.

One can reasonably expect sheep mortality rates to rise given the Morison Government's recent decision to increase sheep density numbers on board export vessels.

A decision it apparently arrived at after the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources & Nationals MP for Maranoa David Littleproud had announced that the government had accepted all 23 recommendations in the Review of conditions for the export of sheep to the Middle East during the northern summer report.

From 1 November 2018 the floor space per adult sheep will be reduced by 11.5% going into projected November temperatures ranging from 22 to 37 degrees Celsius across Middle Eastern destination ports.

It is worth noting that the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) has not published any analysis of current animal welfare standards in the last 5 years and the version of Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock in operation to date appears to be the 2011 version.

Australian media now report that the Morrison Government is stalling on legislating tougher penalties for exporters who breach live export regulations and, that Nationals MP for New England and disgraced former deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce claims that 99.7% of sheep arrive at their export destination in the same or better condition than when they left.

So according to Barnaby only 0.3% of exported sheep suffer a loss of condition.

An interesting claim, given official sheep mortality is calculated at 0.61% of the live cargo being transported.

It seems that some of Barnaby's sheep are miraculously born-again sometime during those sea voyages,