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Monday, 10 September 2018
Page: 8326


Ms MADELEINE KING (Brand) (10:46): I thank the member of Oxley for his words and also note the enthusiasm with which the Liberal government is speaking today on this private members' motion on trade—as enthusiastic as they are they for free trade, they can't find enough people to fill the list! So we shall do it, and we are more than happy to.

As the elected representative of the people of Rockingham and Kwinana, I am acutely aware of the challenges and benefits of open and free trade. More importantly, I am a Western Australian and, therefore, I am from the No. 1 export state in the country. With our iron ore and grain exports, we see and experience the value of those export and free trade agreements every single day. We also see the failures. Live sheep exports are in chaos as this government ignored warnings from the industry itself to take action. We see the new opportunities in exports: potential exports of lithium and rare metals, shipbuilding technology as well as agricultural products and education. And that is just to name a few.

Today we are discussing the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, a free trade agreement between Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, New Zealand, Singapore and Vietnam. The agreement was signed by the 11 countries on 8 March 2018 in Santiago, Chile. The CPTPP will eliminate more than 98 per cent of tariffs in a trade zone spanning the Indo-Pacific region with a combined GDP worth $13.7 trillion. Australian manufacturers, industry, farmers and service exporters will benefit from the new market access opportunities that will come from 500 million consumers across these countries.

As members know, the Labor Party and the Labor movement have a proud record of reform that has boosted trade and investment, created new jobs and increased the incomes of Australians. This goes back to the days of Whitlam, Hawke and Keating. Labor has done this work because, as a trading nation, Australia's future economic success is underpinned by our ability to sell our goods and services overseas.

Turning to one of our great exports, thanks to science and collaboration, Australia has a tremendously important high-yield and disease resistant grain industry for export. This year, another record wheat crop is predicted in Western Australia, and the lion's share of that grain will be exported to our near neighbours in Asia. These exports begin in Kwinana, in my electorate, where the iconic blue wheat silos of CBH overlook Cockburn Sound. CBH holds the largest grain export facility in the Southern Hemisphere, and is a constant reminder of the importance of agriculture to WA. Just last week CBH was recognised as the fourth largest private company in Australia, employing over 1,000 people with $3.7 billion in revenue—all as a cooperative grain storage and export company.

More than 60 per cent of the world's population live in what is, arguably, the most dynamic region on earth, which is directly to our north. This is where the world's largest economic growth will occur, and Australia is in a great position geographically and economically to take advantage of this.

All South-East Asian nations must work together in policy development so that we together can meet the challenges of the region, such as nutrition, infrastructure, education, security, energy security, pollution, climate change and, of course, trade. Our common concerns and our common goals bring us together. We must ensure that we make the most of the rise of Asia. Two in every three dollars we make from trade come from Asia, and this is likely to increase in the years ahead.

When we were last in government, Labor entered Australia into the negotiations on the original TPP. As we know, the current US President withdrew the United States from that agreement. This agreement—what's known as the TPP-11—is much smaller, and many of the more contentious sections of the original TPP have been suspended.

I'd like to recognise the efforts and leadership of the government of Japan and its trade negotiators, who progressed the CPTPP in the absence of the US. The novel approach of suspending many provisions that had been required by the US has led us to this point. I commend the work of all trade negotiators, and particularly the leadership of Japan, in helping to build an open trade framework, to uphold international rule making and multilateralism and to realise a free and open Indo-Pacific that will lead to greater prosperity for many more people across that region.

Labor believes that all trade agreements should be subject to independent economic modelling. The coalition government refused to do this, but the Victorian Labor government has done so. Independent modelling indicates small benefits in the immediate future, but there will be much larger benefits as the agreement continues to progress through world trade systems.