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Shorten caught out peddling CFMEU lies on China FTA



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MEDIA RELEASE

MINISTER FOR TRADE AND INVESTMENT

The Hon Andrew Robb AO MP

8 September 2015

SHORTEN CAUGHT OUT PEDDLING CFMEU LIES ON CHINA FTA

Bill Shorten has again been caught out today peddling CFMEU lies about the Investment Facilitation Arrangement (IFA) linked to our landmark Free Trade Agreement with China.

In regard to the IFA, Mr Shorten on ABC’s AM program asserted: “Currently it's proposed that for projects of over $150 million it's not mandatory that the jobs market in Australia has to be tested so that Australians get first crack.”

This is completely and utterly false as Mr Shorten knows.

During yesterday’s Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT) hearing on the China Australia Free Trade Agreement it was again made crystal clear that under the IFA, Australian workers must have been provided with first opportunity for jobs through labour market testing.

Proponents must provide evidence of their domestic recruitment efforts for each requested occupation, including advertising undertaken within the past six months.

Senior Immigration officer David Wilden told JSCOT that under an IFA proponents must: “absolutely, mandatorily, have to test the labour market”.

These requirements are outlined in black and white in the guidelines under which the IFA will be implemented.

Mr Robb said the IFA was modelled on Labor’s Enterprise Migration Agreement (EMA) except the IFA had far more stringent safeguards to ensure Australians had the first opportunity at jobs available under the projects covered.

“Under the EMA the only thing required was labour market analysis, whereas under the IFA, both labour market analysis and then labour market testing are required before any workers are permitted to enter Australia,” he said.

“Instead of continuing to peddle CFMEU lies, Bill Shorten should act not in his own interests but in the national interest and support this agreement. The China FTA is an outstanding deal and will create thousands of new jobs for Australians and add billions of dollars to our economy,” Mr Robb said.

Mr Robb said today when given a big opportunity to put their case in the parliament about the China FTA they pathetically tried to gag the debate.

Trade and Investment Minister’s Office: 0400 940 968 DFAT Media: 02 6261 1555