AUSTRALIA'S new parliamentary secretary for trade Kelvin Thomson has warned people from "jumping at shadows''.Mr Thomson says his strong background in animal welfare issues does not conflict with his new role.
Several industry and farmers groups have expressed disquiet with the promotion of Mr Thomson to the Cabinet given his strong opposition to the $1 billion live export trade in the past.
"The Prime Minister has made it very clear that the live export trade will continue and I fully understand that,'' Mr Thomson told Weekly Times Now.
"I don't see any conflict of interest from having a commitment to animal welfare and expressing government policy.
"The Prime Minister does not intend to close down the live export trade.''
Mr Thomson said comments made critical of his appointment over the weekend were people "jumping at shadows''.
He said he would be taking his message of government support for the trade to industry groups to settle any concerns.
Only last week the Victorian MP said the live export trade "was a failure of ethics and a failure of economics''.
Mr Thomson has recently supported "a move towards a viable alternative, a local chilled meat export industry that protects and creates more Australian rural jobs, results in higher profitability through value added opportunities and addresses the public welfare concerns''.
Opposition trade spokesman Julie Bishop said the appointment of Mr Thomson's choice appeared to be a sign "the Government intends to shut down this sector''.
"This will cause enormous uncertainty for thousands of families and individuals who rely on this trade,'' she said.