62 Wray Ave
PO Box 1224
Ms Parke (7:35pm) — It has been another bleak fortnight for Australia's live export trade and one that has again brought international focus on Australia for our involvement in it. In a near disaster reminiscent of the Cormo Express tragedy, two Australian shipments of sheep were rejected by importing countries in the Middle East, leaving tens of thousands of animals stranded at sea. The two countries that refused to permit the unloading of Australian sheep—Kuwait and Bahrain—were parties to MOUs with Australia, an agreement between countries to ensure the unloading of our animals. The Australian public was meant to be reassured by these MOUs that a Cormo Express type disaster, where 6,000 sheep died when Saudi Arabia rejected them almost a decade ago, could never be repeated. Such was the secrecy around these two rejections that we do not know whether Kuwait and Bahrain were even reminded of their MOU obligations. However, what we do know is that their existence failed to ensure the unloading of Australian animals. The very first time these MOUs were put to the test they appear to have failed.
Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Declared Fishing Activities) Bill 2012
Ms Parke (1:06pm) — Fremantle has long been a fishing community and it has long been a leader in environmental protection and sustainability. My community has been thrilled with the federal government's recent announcement that Australia will establish the world's largest network of marine sanctuaries in Commonwealth waters. That is why, from the moment I heard that a supertrawler was en route to Australia and was seeking to operate in those same Commonwealth waters, serious alarm bells began to ring about what this might mean for local fishers and for marine biodiversity.
Ms Parke (1:56pm) — I welcome to the parliament Dale Olsen from the WA Army Museum in Fremantle, who is with us today. There are two things my constituents in Fremantle have been very passionate about this week. One was Saturday's AFL elimination final between the Dockers and Geelong, which I am pleased to say saw the purple haze triumph. My congratulations to coach Ross Lyon, captain Matthew Pavlich and the whole team for their sustained and brilliant game, which we look forward to seeing repeated on Friday in Adelaide.
Ms Parke (7:24pm) — In May the Australian government announced funding over five years to support the work of UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, in serving the health, education and social welfare needs of the Palestinian refugees. While in Canberra in May, after meeting with Foreign Minister Bob Carr, the Commissioner-General of UNRWA, Filippo Grandi, appeared before the foreign affairs subcommittee and also attended a meeting of the UN Parliamentary Group. It is a pity that some of UNRWA's perennial detractors in the parliament were not available to attend these meetings as it is possible that some of their incorrect notions about UNRWA could have been put to rest.