Livestock

Greens welcome potential audit of government’s live export branch

By Country News

The Auditor-General has responded to The Greens, who sent a letter to the Australian National Audit Office requesting the Auditor-General conduct an examination of the live exports branch of the Department of Agriculture in light of allegations of mismanagement and falsification of official records.

The Greens animal welfare spokesperson Mehreen Faruqi sent the letter on July 3 and said the reviews completed so far had not gone far enough.

In response, Auditor-General Grant Hehir explained the Australian National Audit Office’s Annual Audit Work Program ‘‘includes a potential performance audit topic titled Regulation of live animal exports’’.

‘‘This audit, if commenced, would examine the effectiveness of the Department of Agriculture’s regulation of the treatment and handling of export livestock,’’ Mr Hehir said in a letter on July 12 to Ms Faruqi.

Ms Faruqi welcomed the news a review was being considered.

‘‘I welcome the Auditor-General’s listing of the live exports branch of the Department of Agriculture as a potential performance audit this financial year and I will continue to advocate for the audit to commence,’’ she said.

‘‘I am deeply concerned that various allegations, such as mismanagement and the falsification of official records, still remain un-investigated.

‘‘A proper and comprehensive performance audit of the branch may finally get to the bottom of this and given the troubled history of this branch, perhaps uncover even more regulatory failures under this government.’’

■Both Ms Faruqi and Mr Hehir’s letters can be found at: www.anao.gov.au/work/request/live-exports-branch-the-department-agriculture