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Monday, 18 March 2013
Page: 1920


Senator LUNDY (Australian Capital TerritoryMinister Assisting for Industry and Innovation, Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Minister for Sport) (17:01): I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

I seek leave to have the second reading speech incorporated in Hansard.

Leave granted.

The speech read as follows—

The changes proposed in this bill, the Export Market Development Grants Amendment Bill 2013, deliver on the recent Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) decision to concentrate the EMDG scheme more heavily on small businesses exporting to East Asian and frontier and emerging markets.

The MYEFO decision and associated policy changes in this bill will deliver annual savings of $25 million.

The changes will better help Australian exporters maximise the potential of the Asian century by increasing the number of grants available in East Asian and frontier and emerging markets from seven to eight. This offers Australian small and medium-sized exporters a slightly longer and more commercially realistic period to become established in these markets.

To offset the additional grant expenditure associated with an increased number of grants to East Asian and emerging and frontier markets, the number of grants to the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and the European Union, which is where the Australian brand is already well known and accepted and small businesses typically face less barriers to doing business, will be reduced from seven to five.

The increased focus of the EMDG scheme on emerging and frontier markets brings EMDG into closer alignment with Austrade's broader trade priorities following its review in 2011, and the government's Asian Century policy agenda.

The government is seeking to introduce this bill now to avoid creating considerable uncertainty for small businesses as they adjust to the new arrangements which become operational on 1 July 2013.

Order that further consideration of the second reading of this bill be adjourned to the first sitting day of the next period of sittings, in accordance with standing order 111.