Trailer Magazine


Class action vindicates cattle producers

  • Posted on Wednesday 22nd, July 2020.

The National Party has commended the recent decision by the Commonwealth not to appeal against the Federal Court of Australia’s decision in Brett Cattle Company Pty Ltd v Minister for Agriculture.

On 29 June, the Federal Government was ordered to pay almost $3 million in damages to Brett Cattle Company, following the ruling that the previous Labor Government's decision in 2011 to ban live cattle exports was invalid.

Justice Steven Rares had earlier in June ruled that then-agriculture minister Joe Ludwig had acted recklessly and committed misfeasance in public office when he banned farmers from exporting live cattle to Indonesia for six months in 2011.

The ban followed a Four Corners program that exposed cruelty to Australian cattle at Indonesian abattoirs.

Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the Nationals, Michael McCormack, welcomed confirmation by the Attorney-General of the Commonwealth’s acceptance of the court’s decision.

“This is another victory for the resilient men and women of the Northern Australian cattle industry,” said McCormack.

“They fought long and hard for justice after the former Labor Government’s reckless 2011 decision which gutted an entire industry overnight," he said.

Agriculture Minister and Deputy Leader of The Nationals, David Littleproud, said the Federal Court decision by Justice Rares was a strong vindication for Northern Australia’s cattle producers.

“The Ludwig decision was appalling, causing so much pain, misery and hardship for so many families and communities,” said Littleproud.

“Whilst we acknowledge the Attorney-General’s advice that there remain some specific points of law in this judgment with which the Commonwealth does not concur, we are pleased to deliver closure and certainty to Northern Australia’s cattle industry with our decision not to appeal,” he said.

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