The Commonwealth will not appeal against a court ruling that found the a 2011 decision to ban live cattle exports was unlawful.
- The Government will not appeal the Federal Court’s live export ruling
- The Federal Courts found Gillard government acted unlawfully when it banned cattle exports in 2011
- Farming groups have welcomed the decision
A class action was launched in response to the decision by the Gillard government, with cattle producers seeking $600 million in compensation.
Last month the Federal Court found the ban was not lawful, and that then-agriculture minister Joe Ludwig acted with misfeasance.
Attorney-General Christian Porter was facing calls by Coalition members and the industry not to appeal against the judgement.
He released a statement saying the Commonwealth accepted the decision.
“As the Prime Minister has said, live cattle exporters were dealt with egregiously by the Gillard government,” he said.
“The Coalition Government will not jeopardise the outcome they have won in this case.”
Nationals MPs and Senators have claimed the Government’s decision not to appeal as a win.
“Finally justice will be done after Labor’s destructive, knee jerk and now illegal decision to take away people’s livelihoods and jobs overnight,” Senator Matt Canavan wrote on Twitter.
Fiona Simson has applauded the Government’s decision.(Supplied: National Farmers Federation)
The Government’s decision ends an anxious wait for the cattle industry, which spent the last six weeks urging the Government to accept the decision.
National Farmers Federation president Fiona Simson said she had spoken with the Scott Morrison following the Government’s announcement today.
“Prime Minister Morrison called me earlier to say his Government would not stand in the way of justice being delivered to northern Australia cattle producers and communities,” Ms Simson said.
“On behalf of the Brett family, other applicants to the class action, and the many others affected by the monumentally devastating decision in 2011, I sincerely thanked him.
“By declining to appeal Justice Rares’ decision, the Government has made unequivocal its appreciation of the pain and injustice that was inflicted on northern Australia by the government of the day and its wish to see justice done.”
Many people went without an income for some time.(ABC Rural: Matt Brann)
Describing the win as a landmark for the Australian Farmers Fighting Fund, Ms Simson said the Government’s decision sent a clear message “that such reckless and ultimately, illegal actions by any Government, can be never be allowed to happen again”.
“Importantly, Prime Minister Morrison has cleared the way for the awarding of the ‘significant compensation’ to the Brett Family and other applicants, [Justice Steven Rares] found they were entitled to,” she said.
“Tonight, those who were directly and indirectly hurt by the 2011 have been vindicated.
“Tonight marks a new beginning.”
Ashley Manicaros says the industry is ready to discuss compensation.(Supplied: NTCA)
NT Cattlemen’s Association chief executive Ashley Manicaros said the impact of the ban was still being felt.
“There are still people in our industry right across the northern Australia that are still working their way out of the debt that had to be incurred as a consequence that ban,” he said.
Mr Manicaros said the industry was ready to discuss compensation with the Government.