The Beagle Editor Eurobodalla Ratepayers are Different to the Rest of Australia
On Tuesday 24th May I attended my first Eurobodalla Council meeting. It was an unusual experience, but I came away with the “knowledge” that we in the Eurobodalla are quite different to other Australians, indeed we must be quite the opposite. Let me explain. The Council was debating a motion put by Councillor McGinlay for the Council to write a letter (yes just a letter) to the Federal Government to encourage them to end the Live Export Trade and to create an Independent Office of Animal Welfare. Five residents from the Shire (including myself) presented to Council in support of this motion. There were NO presentations speaking against the motion. The essence of most of these presentations was that just because the Live Export Trade doesn’t happen in our own backyard, that doesn’t mean that we in the Eurobodalla shouldn’t express our opinion and that all levels of government should be involved in transitioning away from this cruel trade to the chilled meat trade. This would provide jobs to more Australians and have better outcomes for the poor animals that are subjected to the treatment we have recently seen in the TV footage. Every poll that we know of since 2012 has indicated that approximately 80% of Australians are against the live export industry. So, what was the outcome? The motion was lost 2 votes for and 4 against with only councillors McGinlay and Mayne supporting the motion. Mayor Innes and Councillors Nathan and Pollock were absent and while we can’t categorically say how they would have voted, after speaking with those that have observed their voting preferences in the past, it is likely they would also have voted against the motion. If that was the case, then the vote would have been 2 for and 7 against. That would be 78% of our council not wanting to show support to end the Live Export Trade. Are Eurobodalla residents that different to the rest of Australia? Did our councillors represent the shire on this issue? I think not. And all they were asked to do was to write one letter. I would like Councillors reading this letter to read an article written by John Hewson for the SMH "Inaction over live sheep exports reveals our politicians are losing their moral compass" . John is a former politician writing to politicians asking them to examine their moral compass and act now. That is what we, at our local level, were attempting to demonstrate on Tuesday at Council in support of Clr McGinlay's motion. Our leaders have lost their moral compass Politicians at all levels would do well not to ignore outrage over live sheep exports. Fraser Paterson Malua Bay
Have Council broken their Moral Compass?