Labor hopeful wants to keep live sheep trade

Farrer election candidate at odds with incumbent Sussan Ley and his own party leadership over exports to Middle East


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Farrer election candidate at odds with incumbent Sussan Ley and his own party leadership over exports to Middle East

THE Labor candidate for Farrer wants live sheep exports to continue, putting him at odds with his federal leader Bill Shorten and Liberal rival Sussan Ley.

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Contender: Labor candidate for Farrer Kieran Drabsch with Reverend Wayne Sheehan, of Deniliquin's St Paul's Anglican Church, and his fiancee Nadine Balnaves, who is also a teacher at Griffith High School.

Contender: Labor candidate for Farrer Kieran Drabsch with Reverend Wayne Sheehan, of Deniliquin's St Paul's Anglican Church, and his fiancee Nadine Balnaves, who is also a teacher at Griffith High School.

High school teacher Kieran Drabsch believes ending the trade to the Middle East, which has been dogged by deaths and cruelty, is wrong.

His position contrasts with Ms Ley, Mr Shorten and Labor’s federal agriculture spokesman Joel Fitzgibbon, who have opposed the industry.

“If you look at her (Ms Ley’s) bill to ban live exports I think that is a kick in the guts to the electorate that’s struggling to create employment opportunities,” Mr Drabsch said.

“On a personal level I respect Bill Shorten and I respect Joel Fitzgibbon on their position, but on an industry level I don’t think bans are the solution.

“I think we should manage them.

“Governments can step in and stop ships leaving ports, as the Western Australian government has, they have the ability to send inspectors on ships and use foreign embassies.” 

Mr Drabsch’s comments follow him being preselected unopposed for Farrer, a seat Ms Ley has held easily since 2001.

“I am running on the smell of an oily rag,” he said.

“It’s going to be a tight campaign because Sussan Ley will probably outspend me 50 to one.

“It’s about meeting people and showing people there’s an alternative.

“Sussan Ley shouldn’t be rewarded for her record on health, she shouldn’t be rewarded for her record on employment and she shouldn’t be rewarded for her record on the oversight of the Murray-Darling Basin.”

Mr Drabsch, 31, has taught history and geography at Griffith High School for the last 4½ years after living at Ballina where he unsuccessfully stood for the local council as a Labor candidate.

“My main reason for putting my hand now is that I believe there needs to be a new generation of leadership in the Riverina,” he said.

Mr Drabsch will doorknock in Albury for the first time next month.

The story Labor hopeful wants to keep live sheep trade first appeared on The Border Mail.

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