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Thursday, 30 April 1987
Page: 2398

(Question No. 5205)


Mr Hunt asked the Minister for Primary Industry, upon notice, on 19 March 1987:

(1) Has he received any complaints from Australian dairy farmers or other sectors of the dairy industry over access for Australian cheeses to the NZ retail market.

(2) Does the Australian cheese industry enjoy access to the NZ retail market equal to the access obtained by the NZ industry to the Australian market.


Mr Kerin —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) and (2) Trade in dairy products between Australia and New Zealand is governed, under the CER Agreement, by the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on dairy products. Amongst other things the MOU provides that the level of NZ cheese imports into Australia will be related to growth in the total Australian market, and requires that parties consult as to their intentions in each other's domestic markets. The New Zealand industry has no restrictions (eg import licensing, tariffs etc) on access for Australian cheeses to the NZ market. Exports of Australian cheeses to NZ remain small however (about 191 t in 1985-86).

Inasmuch as there is no restriction placed on access for Australian cheeses to the NZ market, I have received no complaints on this matter and I am unaware of any concern in this area.