Monday, 30 August 2021
Questions without Notice
[by video link] My question is to the Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment. Implementation of the national plan will create more opportunities for Australian exporters. Will the minister please update the house on how the Morrison government is supporting our exporters and how this assistance will create more Australian jobs as we prepare to open up under the national plan?
Can I thank the member for North Sydney for his question. I know he understands how important the national plan is to our tourism industry, something he's very passionate about. But it is also important for our exporters. One in five Australians are dependent on export related businesses, and in regional Australia it's one in four. We continue to provide support for our exporters as we seek to implement our national plan.
On Friday the government announced that it was extending IFAM and providing another $260.9 million for the IFAM program. We have now provided nearly $1 billion for IFAM to support Australian jobs in our export industries. This has led to some remarkable results which have benefited every state and the Northern Territory: abalone from South Australia to Hong Kong; mangoes from the Northern Territory to South Korea and Canada; tuna from New South Wales to Japan and the US; strawberries from Western Australia to Malaysia and Singapore; Victorian lamb to the Middle East; live coral trout from Far North Queensland to Hong Kong; and Tasmanian salmon to China.
But we cannot continue to support and benefit these exporters forever. That's why the national plan is so important. We cannot continue to provide support to those exporters from all those states forever. Eventually we have to open up our economy safely so those exporters can get on and do the things that they love to do: go over and visit those overseas markets and build the partnerships they need with the importers in those countries. When it comes to investing—whether it be investing in other countries to grow their businesses or seeking investment in Australia so that they can grow their businesses—that requires them to be able to travel overseas and it requires people to be able to come to Australia.
That's what our national plan sets out; it sets out how we can do that safely. That's why we need all states and territories signing up to our national plan. We can't have our wheat exporters, our iron ore exporters and those who are pursuing new opportunities in new energy, when it comes to hydrogen, here in Australia and not able to go out and seek those markets; they have to be able to travel. That's why our national plan is so important. That's why we're backing the national plan and it's why we need all states and territories to do exactly the same.