Allegations of live export trade cover-up to be investigated

Updated November 06, 2018 19:24:48

The former head of the Australian Crime Commission will investigate allegations that staff in the federal Department of Agriculture were told to keep quiet over their concerns about the live animal export trade.

Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud has asked the former head of the Australian Crime Commission, John Lawler, to investigate seven allegations made by staff who previously worked in the animal welfare branch.

A recently-released independent review of the trade found that staff were not reporting their concerns because of a culture of fear within the department.

Mr Littleproud said the allegations related to senior officers warning staff against taking action.

“There are seven (staff) that have made allegations that they wished to bring forward evidence of wrongdoing by export companies but were advised by their senior officers not to raise them because there could be repercussions. That is not a culture I will ever accept,” he said.

Mr Littleproud said nobody will be “beyond reproach” in Mr Lawler’s investigation.

“I don’t care what part of the department they’re from or where they are now,” he said.