The Australian Livestock Exporters Council (ALEC) wishes to extend its condolences to the friends and family of the Hon Simon Crean following the sad news of his passing.
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Mr Crean served as the Member for Hotham in the Australian Parliament from 1990, retiring at the 2013 election. During this time, Mr Crean was leader of the Australian Labor Party and Federal Leader of the Opposition and held various ministerial portfolios. He served as Minister for Primary Industries and Energy, Minister for Trade and Minister for Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government and the Arts. Prior to joining politics, Mr Crean worked in several trade unions and was President of the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) from 1985 to 1990.
During his time as Trade Minister and Primary Industries Minister he was responsible for a range of policies that still benefit the agriculture sector today, not in the least livestock exports. He was a strident campaigner for free trade and sought to support industries to reach their potential, understanding the benefit this brought the country and the influence Australia could have on the global stage. Mr Crean was a proud Australian and he was once again representing Australia’s interests on the world stage at the time of his passing.
Mr Crean was elected Chairman of ALEC in October 2014 and was re-elected in 2016 and 2018 – stepping down in February 2020.
At the time of his initial election as ALEC Chair, Mr Crean said he felt he had an obligation to help the industry following the Gillard Government’s 2011 Live Cattle Ban. However, he not only wanted to help it get back on its feet, but to help continue on its growth path. He also wanted to see the industry continue its continuous improvement in animal welfare, something he oversaw and delivered with great enthusiasm.
He took a keen interest in the individuals involved in the industry, encouraged their success and leadership. He was a wonderful people person and genuinely cared for the individuals he associated with.
Mr Crean was a well-respected advocate not only in politics, but across a range of sectors including the arts, regional development, and agriculture – all of which he was a passionate advocate for. It is a true mark of the man that tributes are flowing from across the political spectrum and from diverse sectors. This speaks to Simon’s integrity, intellect and standing as a public figure.
Despite all his incredible work and achievements, Mr Crean constantly spoke of the importance of family, and it was clear that this is what he cared about most and what he was proudest of. It is his family that are the focus of our thoughts today, as while Australia has lost an incredible leader, they have lost a loving husband and father.
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