Thursday 21st Jun, 2018

Littleproud’s whistle-blower hotline is up and running

Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock

A NEW whistle-blower hotline for the export industry has been established to encourage confidential reporting of breaches or suspected breaches in the industry.

Agriculture minister David Littleproud announced the hotline after images of sheep being mistreated on recent voyages to the Middle East sparked an outcry and calls to end livestock exports.

Announcing the establishment of the whistle-blower hotline, Mr Littleproud said it would enable people to confidentially report breaches or suspected breaches in the export industry, including livestock exports.

“There should be nothing to fear from transparency. Let’s let the light shine in,” he said.

“I want to create a culture where whistle-blowers are comfortable coming forward and confident their information will be treated confidentially and taken seriously. The whistle-blower hotline is the first step.”

The hotline is a free call service on 1800 319 595.

Mr Littleproud said callers to the hotline can either identify themselves or make an anonymous disclosure.

Meanwhile, DAWR suspended sheep exports to an abattoir in Qatar after information and footage provided by animal rights peak body Animals Australia alleged breaches of the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS).

According to a statement from DAWR, the allegations include apparent on-selling of sheep to private buyers and mishandling of sheep at the Qatari ESCAS-approved abattoir.

This was the first complaint the department has received about sheep exports to Qatar since the rollout of ESCAS in 2011.

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