Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Wednesday, 21 October 2015
Page: 12116

Mr RAMSEY (Grey) (21:29): I had concluded my remarks on the CFMEU.

I come now to agriculture. For agriculture, there are some very big ticket items—in particular, for my electorate, wool is still a very important part of the economy and a new, larger quota for Australia and a duty-free quota will certainly enhance my growers' prospects. For beef, tariffs between 12 and 25 per cent will be gone in nine years. For dairy, tariffs up to 20 per cent will be eliminated in four to 11 years. The wine industry—a very important industry in South Australia—will at last have the opportunity to clear the glut. Already we are selling $242 million worth of wine per annum to China, and China has doubled its consumption of wine twice in the past five years alone. Chile and New Zealand have the jump on us because they have their free trade agreements already. We have some catching up to do. Tariffs will be eliminated on wine within four years. That is a very big-ticket item for South Australia. Almost all remaining tariffs on energy and resources will be eliminated in four years. Tariffs like three per cent on coking coal and six per cent for thermal coal may not sound like much, but it is the scale of the coal industry in this case. Millions of tonnes goes to China, and a three per cent and a six per cent tariff cut is quite substantial.

Much of the big end of this agreement flies under the radar. I have spoken about agriculture and mining products—raw products into China—but much of the really big stuff for Australia will not be fully realised until business people have a chance to get their heads around it. In particular, there is health and aged care. China has an ageing population and they have working families. In the past, they have not had the kinds of institutions that Australia has to deal with these issues. They need expert help in building capacity. We can provide it for them. There are education services. Their institutions are improving fast, but we are looking to develop wide links around the world and collaboration. China will be a very keen market for our services in this area.

There are financial services. Already, the ANZ bank has a significant footprint in China, with its back office located in the central western city of Chengdu, a place that I visited in 2012. It already employs over 300 people and the potential is enormous. The Chinese will be looking for superannuation services and services to manage family investments. They are not too bad at managing money—I will certainly grant the Chinese nation that—but it is a changing and modern world and there are a number of services that Australia is very sophisticated in and we will be able to provide them with great assistance.

There is no doubt that some in our community are suspicious of foreign investment and particularly with China. To them I say: co- and cross-investment are the keys that open the door to mutual prosperity. Having partners in each other's countries, with skin in the game, establishes access to markets that were previously virtually unknown. This deal is good for both countries. It will lead to greater prosperity for both countries. I am pleased that the Labor Party has endorsed the agreement. It underlines the fact that this government has shown that it has the propensity to get jobs done.