House debates

Tuesday, 1 December 2020

Questions without Notice

Wine Exports

2:16 pm

Photo of Rebekha SharkieRebekha Sharkie (Mayo, Centre Alliance) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Minister for Agriculture, . South Australia produces half of the nation's wine and 80 per cent of the wine that's exported. Wine export to China is worth $1.2 billion annually. Given the spectacular collapse of the Australia to China wine market, what immediate support will the government provide to our winemakers, particularly mine in Mayo?

Photo of David LittleproudDavid Littleproud (Maranoa, National Party, Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management) Share this | | Hansard source

I thank the member for Mayo for her question. The Australian government is bitterly disappointed by the preliminary decision of the Chinese government to impose what is a tariff of between 107 per cent and 212 per cent. The immediate support that we will provide to the industry is to appeal that decision. We have 10 days in which to do that. We are working with industry around that appeal. We will vigorously defend the industry with respect to the dumping of wine—wine which has the second-highest price point in China. We, together with the industry, will vigorously defend that. Even before the imposition of what is a tariff on our wine, we had already been trying to open up other markets through agricultural counsellors—we now have 22 of them—through the free trade agreements that we have put in place, and we will continue to do that. We are particularly looking at emerging markets in ASEAN countries, and also the US and Canada. In Canada, we had a successful finding in the WTO. We will continue to work in those emerging markets. Tomorrow, the trade minister and I will meet with Tony Battaglene, who is the chairman of Australian Grape & Wine. We'll work with him as the leader of the peak body of his industry to work through other support mechanisms that the government can help with. Obviously, we will work through that in a constructive way, within the parameters of the WTO. We are a fair-trading nation; we are a rules based trading nation. We will stay within that, but we will continue to work with them in exploring new markets as quickly as we can and making investments in accelerating the brand 'Australian wine' right around the world.