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Tuesday, 12 September 2017
Page: 10049

Agriculture Industry

Mr HOGAN (Page) (14:45): My question is to the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources and Minister for Resources and Northern Australia. Will the Deputy Prime Minister outline to the House how the government is supporting farm and agricultural businesses in Australia? Is he aware of any threats to these businesses and the cost of living for families across Australia?

Mr JOYCE (New EnglandDeputy Prime Minister, Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources and Minister for Resources and Northern Australia) (14:45): I thank the honourable member for his question. Obviously, in the beef capital of New South Wales and, debatably, the beef capital of Australia, he understands full well what agriculture has been doing for our nation, especially with regard to the most recent GDP figures. The percentage point contribution to year-on-year GDP growth of 1.8 per cent was 0.49 from agriculture. This goes to show what a difference a government makes. We note that for the year it's more than 22 per cent growth. The last quarter for the Labor Party went back by 0.5 per cent.

So the difference is quite clear. We put through a $4 billion agricultural white paper. They have not got a policy on agriculture. They never come to the dispatch box. They don't believe in inland rail. They're not going to build it. They're going to get rid of the Regional Investment Corporation. They're going to take money out of the dams portfolio. It all falls to a common theme within the Labor Party—that is, they have given up on blue-collar workers and they're now residing with the basketweavers. They're the party of the basketweavers. They have given up. They managed to change their allegiances, just like the member for Maribyrnong once upon a time. He used to support South Melbourne; he believed in South Melbourne; he barracked for South Melbourne; he followed the Swans. Then all of a sudden he decides, 'It doesn't work with South Melbourne anymore; I'm now with Collingwood.' He can change his allegiance. He is a crazy leopard that can change its spots. He can change his spots.

Now we find that they have given up on the manufacturing workers. We've got the member for Hunter. He's a knight in Newcastle, but he's a coward in Canberra. Once he gets down here, he doesn't stand up for the coal workers down here. Oh, no! And the member for Shortland has never stood up for his coal workers—not in this building. He has never stood up against the member for Maribyrnong. The member for Maribyrnong, as you always see in question time, turns his back on your manufacturing workers. He turns his back on the coal workers. He turns his back on all the blue-collar workers. It does not stop there. The member for Herbert has never had the ticker to stand up for the manufacturing workers and coal workers. The member for Paterson has never had the ticker to stand up for workers.

So this is what we have. What we have now is the member for Hunter saying that he's sad about the closure of Liddell. He must be sad about the loss of those jobs. He must be sad about the coal workers of Liddell. Why don't you stand up for the coal workers of Liddell? Why doesn't this person, the Leader of the Opposition, come to the dispatch box and endorse what the manufacturing workers do? Why don't you once more stand up for manufacturing workers? Why have you turned your back on the Australian people? Why are you so shifty? Why don't you stand up for the people who actually once upon a time gave you a job? (Time expired)

Mr Khalil interjecting

Mr Rob Mitchell interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Wills will cease interjecting, as will the member for McEwen.