Thursday, 17 October 2019
Questions without Notice
I thank Senator Sinodinos for his question, which I may boldly predict could well be his last question in this place. In doing so, I thank Senator Sinodinos for his service to the Senate and to our nation and congratulate him on his valedictory speech last night. It was a valedictory speech that epitomised Senator Sinodinos's depth, substance, wisdom and sense of vision. In it he outlined many great policy challenges for our nation and ways in which they should be tackled. He demonstrated his policy drive in areas such as space and research cooperation—areas that I am confident will stand him in good stead in his next career working for Australia and for Australians and their interests and on their behalf with the United States, which is our largest investment market. It is our largest investment partner and, of course, a key trading partner as well.
It's through agencies such as Austrade and Export Finance Australia that our government, with a strong economy, is able to keep helping Australian exporters continue to succeed and export more into the future. Austrade provides expertise and advice through a network of 117 offices across the globe, helping exporters in all of those cities and markets so they are able to succeed and sell a record value of Australian goods and services into those markets. Export Finance Australia provides valuable financial expertise and solutions to help businesses grow. Last financial year, Export Finance Australia completed 147 transactions, providing over $377 million of support, in terms of financial service assistance, to 107 businesses. But what did that generate and create? It created some $2.3 billion worth of export contracts supporting more than 13,600 jobs. That's what it all comes back to—job opportunities for Australians.