Senate debates

Monday, 23 March 2020

Questions without Notice

Coronavirus

2:53 pm

Photo of Anne RustonAnne Ruston (SA, Liberal Party, Minister for Families and Social Services) Share this | Hansard source

As Senator McKenzie would be well aware, Australia produces significantly more food than we actually consume in this country. In fact, last year, around 70 per cent of our agriculture was exported. To that end, we have plenty of food for Australians. But it is also very important that we keep farm businesses in business and give them the opportunity to continue to sell their goods into other markets where it is possible. This ensures that these businesses continue to turn a profit and continue to operate efficiently and, importantly, helps them to retain staff, which is so important to keep money flowing through local economies.

We will continue to closely monitor the impact of COVID-19 on our exporters, working together with our trading partners through the work of Senator Birmingham as the Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment. We understand travel restrictions have the potential to impact on new and existing marketplaces and we will be working diligently to make sure that we do everything that we can to mitigate that impact. (Time expired)

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