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Monday, 23 November 2015
Page: 13359


Mr HUTCHINSON (Lyons) (10:38): It has been a pretty busy week in the electorate of Lyons. Last Monday we had a free trade agreement seminar at the Brighton Civic Centre. I was very pleased to welcome representatives from Austrade including the Trade Commissioner from Fukuoka, Japan, Tom Yates; Sally Chandler, the TradeStart Export Adviser; Geoff Atkinson from AusIndustry; Johnathan McManus, trade policy officer with the FTA Outreach Unit of DFAT; and Nigel Warrant.

Also in attendance was a local business—Tasmanian eel exporter Shaun Finlayson along with his father, Bradley. They operate a very important business out of Bagdad in the southern Midlands of Tasmania, exporting eels, ironically, to those three countries that we have recently signed free trade agreements with: Korea, Japan and more recently China. Many people in this place will have also heard the story that was related by Lucy Gregg from Reid Fruits about the expansion that they saw in their business when a 23 per cent tariff on cherries to Korea was removed. They went from selling roughly 10 tonnes annually to 190 tonnes this year, showing the benefits of that tariff removal.

Later that night, I had the opportunity to address the Evandale Rotary Club, a fine organisation doing wonderful work in their community. I thank Russell Fyfe, the president, Arthur Talbot, the secretary, former president David Houghton and the chairman for the evening, Richard Chugg. The following day, I had the pleasure of attending Flourish. Flourish represents consumers of mental health services around Tasmania and provides feedback to policymakers in the areas that are most important to consumers. I thank Miranda Ashby and all the other staff who work for this very important organisation, particularly the chairman of the board of governors, Danny Sutton.

I also participated in a panel at the Fonterra producers forum, along with members of the Bonlac Suppliers Group who were in attendance. I was joined on that panel by Luke Curtain from Tasmanian Irrigation and local farmer Grant Archer. There were representatives from all around Australia. It was great to be able to showcase the importance of the dairy industry not only to my electorate but also to the state of Tasmania.

The highlight of the week was my attendance at the Mole Creek Primary School. I met Nathan Rockliff and Stephanie, the grade 5/6 teacher. I was, unfortunately, not able to meet with them when they were here in Canberra a fortnight ago and I had the pleasure of answering their questions and presenting them certificates.