The majority voted in favour of a motion to agree with the main idea of the bill (known as giving the bill a second reading), which means the bill can now be considered in further detail.

What does this bill do?

According to the bill digest:

  • The Export Control Amendment (Ending Live Sheep Exports by Sea) Bill 2024 (the Bill) proposes to ban the export of live sheep by sea from Australia from 1 May 2028.

  • Australia is the world’s largest exporter of sheep meat, encompassing both live exports and frozen products. In 2022–23, the estimated value of Australia’s sheep meat exports was $4.5 billion. Live sheep exports by sea made up less than 2% of this trade, at around $77 million. The demand for Australia’s live sheep exports is mostly driven by Middle Eastern customers who prefer freshly slaughtered meat that adheres to specific cultural practices.

  • The export of live animals could entail significant risks to their welfare. In 2018, video footage obtained by an industry whistleblower was aired on national television. The footage showed thousands of sheep dying in extreme heat and cramped conditions on board an export vessel operated by an Australian company.

  • Prior to the 2022 federal election, the Australian Labor Party said it was committed to phasing out live sheep exports if elected. In March 2023, Agriculture Minister Murray Watt appointed an independent panel to provide advice on how and when a phase out could be implemented.

  • On 11 May 2024, Minister Watt announced the Albanese Government’s decision to end live sheep exports by sea from 1 May 2028. The Government also allocated a $107 million transition support package for the affected industry. The Bill gives legislative effect to the measures.

  • The proposed ban of live sheep exports by sea is a highly contentious issue that elicits strong reactions from stakeholders. As such, opinions about the Bill are divided. On the one hand, animal welfare activists and the Australian Greens argue that live sheep export trade should be phased out sooner. On the other hand, livestock farmers and the Coalition push for the trade to continue, arguing that the ban will have ‘enormous consequences’ for local jobs and the Australian economy.

  • The Bill has been referred to the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Agriculture, which is due to report by 21 June 2024.

Votes Passed by a small majority

Nobody rebelled against their party.

Party Votes
Australian Greens (100% turnout) 4 Yes 0 No
Adam Bandt Melbourne Yes
Stephen Bates Brisbane Yes
Max Chandler-Mather Griffith Yes
Elizabeth Watson-Brown Ryan Yes
Australian Labor Party (97% turnout) 75 Yes 0 No
Anthony Albanese Grayndler Yes
Anne Aly Cowan Yes
Michelle Ananda-Rajah Higgins Yes
Jodie Belyea Dunkley Yes
Chris Bowen McMahon Yes
Tony Burke Watson Yes
Matt Burnell Spence Yes
Linda Burney Barton Yes
Josh Burns Macnamara Yes
Mark Butler Hindmarsh Yes
Alison Byrnes Cunningham Yes
Jim Chalmers Rankin Yes
Andrew Charlton Parramatta Yes
Jason Clare Blaxland Yes
Sharon Claydon Newcastle Yes
Libby Coker Corangamite Yes
Julie Collins Franklin Yes
Pat Conroy Shortland Yes
Mary Doyle Aston Yes
Justine Elliot Richmond Yes
Cassandra Fernando Holt Yes
Mike Freelander Macarthur Yes
Carina Garland Chisholm Yes
Steve Georganas Adelaide Yes
Andrew Giles Scullin Yes
Patrick Gorman Perth Yes
Luke Gosling Solomon Yes
Julian Hill Bruce Yes
Ed Husic Chifley Yes
Stephen Jones Whitlam Yes
Ged Kearney Cooper Yes
Matt Keogh Burt Yes
Peter Khalil Wills Yes
Catherine King Ballarat Yes
Madeleine King Brand Yes
Tania Lawrence Hasluck Yes
Jerome Laxale Bennelong Yes
Andrew Leigh Fenner Yes
Sam Lim Tangney Yes
Richard Marles Corio Yes
Zaneta Mascarenhas Swan Yes
Kristy McBain Eden-Monaro Yes
Emma McBride Dobell Yes
Louise Miller-Frost Boothby Yes
Brian Mitchell Lyons Yes
Rob Mitchell McEwen Yes
Daniel Mulino Fraser Yes
Shayne Neumann Blair Yes
Brendan O'Connor Gorton Yes
Clare O'Neil Hotham Yes
Alicia Payne Canberra Yes
Graham Perrett Moreton Yes
Fiona Phillips Gilmore Yes
Tanya Plibersek Sydney Yes
Sam Rae Hawke Yes
Gordon Reid Robertson Yes
Dan Repacholi Hunter Yes
Amanda Rishworth Kingston Yes
Tracey Roberts Pearce Yes
Michelle Rowland Greenway Yes
Joanne Ryan Lalor Yes
Marion Scrymgour Lingiari Yes
Bill Shorten Maribyrnong Yes
Sally Sitou Reid Yes
David Smith Bean Yes
Anne Stanley Werriwa Yes
Meryl Swanson Paterson Yes
Susan Templeman Macquarie Yes
Matt Thistlethwaite Kingsford Smith Yes
Kate Thwaites Jagajaga Yes
Maria Vamvakinou Calwell Yes
Tim Watts Gellibrand Yes
Anika Wells Lilley Yes
Josh Wilson Fremantle Yes
Tony Zappia Makin Yes
Lisa Chesters Bendigo Absent
Mark Dreyfus Isaacs Absent
Rebekha Sharkie Mayo Centre Alliance Yes
Mark Coulton Parkes Deputy Speaker No
Zoe Daniel Goldstein Independent Yes
Helen Haines Indi Independent Yes
Dai Le Fowler Independent Yes
Monique Ryan Kooyong Independent Yes
Sophie Scamps Mackellar Independent Yes
Allegra Spender Wentworth Independent Yes
Zali Steggall Warringah Independent Yes
Kylea Tink North Sydney Independent Yes
Andrew Wilkie Clark Independent Yes
Russell Broadbent Monash Independent No
Kate Chaney Curtin Independent No
Andrew Gee Calare Independent No
Bob Katter Kennedy Katter's Australian Party No
Liberal National Party (78% turnout) 0 Yes 7 No
Angie Bell Moncrieff No
Cameron Caldwell Fadden No
Garth Hamilton Groom No
Henry Pike Bowman No
Andrew Wallace Fisher No
Andrew Willcox Dawson No
Terry Young Longman No
Colin Boyce Flynn Absent
Phillip Thompson Herbert Absent
Liberal Party (91% turnout) 0 Yes 30 No
Karen Andrews McPherson No
Bridget Archer Bass No
Scott Buchholz Wright No
David Coleman Banks No
Warren Entsch Leichhardt No
Paul Fletcher Bradfield No
Ian Goodenough Moore No
Andrew Hastie Canning No
Alex Hawke Mitchell No
Luke Howarth Petrie No
Simon Kennedy Cook No
Julian Leeser Berowra No
Sussan Ley Farrer No
Nola Marino Forrest No
Melissa McIntosh Lindsay No
Zoe McKenzie Flinders No
Ted O'Brien Fairfax No
Tony Pasin Barker No
Gavin Pearce Braddon No
Melissa Price Durack No
Rowan Ramsey Grey No
James Stevens Sturt No
Michael Sukkar Deakin No
Angus Taylor Hume No
Dan Tehan Wannon No
Ross Vasta Bonner No
Aaron Violi Casey No
Jenny Ware Hughes No
Rick Wilson O'Connor No
Keith Wolahan Menzies No
Peter Dutton Dickson Absent
Bert Van Manen Forde Absent
Jason Wood La Trobe Absent
National Party (100% turnout) 0 Yes 12 No
Sam Birrell Nicholls No
Darren Chester Gippsland No
Pat Conaghan Cowper No
David Gillespie Lyne No
Kevin Hogan Page No
Barnaby Joyce New England No
Michelle Landry Capricornia No
David Littleproud Maranoa No
Michael McCormack Riverina No
Llew O'Brien Wide Bay No
Keith Pitt Hinkler No
Anne Webster Mallee No
Milton Dick Oxley Speaker Absent
Totals (95% turnout) 89 Yes – 54 No