Wednesday, 29 March 2017
Questions without Notice
I am very pleased to have a point of contrast between this side of the House, asking about issues that matter to real Australians, and that side of the House asking the grubby questions that we have seen. What this side of the House knows, what actually matters to hardworking Australians, is about opportunities to create jobs, to generate economic growth and to ensure that Australians know that they will have a brighter future tomorrow. This coalition government is delivering them that future. We are doing that in the trade portfolio. We are doing so through the trifecta of trade agreements that we put in place with the North Asia powerhouse economies, China, Korea and Japan. We have delivered in terms of the updated Singapore-Australia Free Trade Agreement, as well as the fact that we played a leading role in pushing for early ratification of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement. We are also continuing to build on the existing agreements that Australia has put in place. In fact, if you look at the last seven days, it has been this coalition government that is making a difference for hardworking Australians by strengthening the relationship that we have with China and building on the success that we have with the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement. In fact, during Premier Li's visit last week, we announced an agreement, delivered by the coalition, to unlock a number of trade restrictions for Aussie meat exporters to China. An additional 36 Australian chilled meat processing facilities will now have access to one of the world's largest economies. This means more Aussie jobs, more job security and more exports for all Australians. That is what Australians are concerned about. That is what they are focused on, not the kind of drivel we have seen today from the opposition.
Thanks to the hard work of this coalition, we continue to be the first and only country to have access for chilled beef into China. The most recent changes are estimated to be worth some $400 million per year for Australia's meat industry—our farmers and meat processors. And frankly, what better contrast could there be: between the coalition's track record of delivery when it comes to China and the track record of this failed Labor Party when they were last in government? Look at their track record when it came to beef. Look at the knee jerk reaction we saw from the previous, Labor, government when it came to Indonesia, when, overnight, they ruined our relationship with Indonesia by turning off live cattle exports. And let us never forget that the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement—which underpins the livelihoods of thousands of Australians, which is driving export growth, which is making sure that the Australian economy is even stronger—an agreement delivered by the coalition, was described by the Leader of the Opposition as a 'dud deal'. That is how they described the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement. It is not a dud. The only dud is the Leader of the Opposition.