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Monday, 22 June 1998
Page: 5002


Mr ANDREW —The people of Australia believe that one of the few things that links the government and the opposition is our attitude to trade and trading terms. What people fail to recognise is that the parliament's commitment to a freer world trading environment has been to the advantage of all Australians. Many feel, for example, that the citrus industry has been betrayed by the fact that imported orange juice comes from Brazil. Too few recognise the fact that allowing orange juice to come in from Brazil has now opened up markets in the USA for Australian citrus growers—the most lucrative markets currently available to citrus growers anywhere in the world, markets which would otherwise have been closed.

Many people believe that, for example, allowing Canadian pork into Australia has been entirely to the detriment of Australian pork producers. It is true that pork producers are suffering and that something needs to be done about the level of suffering they are currently enduring, but what also needs to be recognised is that if we were to lock Australian pork out of the market we would then close the Canadian market to both Australian beef and Australian sugar and that five times as much Australian primary product goes into Canada as comes from Canada into Australia. In this area of freer trade, Australians need to know that the nation has won far more than it has lost and that those who are suffering in both the citrus and pork industries have been the target of relief packages from the previous government and from this government. (Time expired)