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Monday, 20 August 2018
Page: 7750


Mr JOYCE (New England) (15:04): My question is to the Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment. Can the minister update the House on how the government is supporting our farmers, especially by creating new opportunities in global markets?

Mr CIOBO (MoncrieffMinister for Trade, Tourism and Investment) (15:04): I thank the member for New England for his question. We on this side of the House are absolutely committed to continuing to open new market export opportunities for Australian farmers and Australian businesses. In fact, it's been the coalition that has delivered the world's best market access for Australian farmers through the landmark free trade agreements. It's the deals that we've done with China, Japan, Korea, Singapore and Peru. And it's the deals that we also have underway with Indonesia, with Hong Kong and with the Pacific Alliance countries of Columbia, Mexico, Chile and Peru, as well as with the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership. All of this is a full agenda to ensure that Australian farmers can reap the benefits of prosperity as a direct result of being able to export quality Australian produce to the world. In fact, that's recognised throughout Australia's regional and rural communities.

The President of the National Farmers' Federation, Fiona Simson said:

Trade is good for our farmers, our regional communities and the national economy as a whole.

The simple fact is, as the member for New England knows—and as everyone on this side of the House knows—that we sat idle for a long time while Labor was in power, and Labor was unable to deliver any trade agreements. It wasn't until the coalition was elected that we started opening up market opportunities all around the world—market opportunities that Australian farmers are now reaping the rewards of, market opportunities that are seeing investment into Australian regional communities and market opportunities that, most importantly, are delivering jobs to Australians. That's what matters to the Australian people, and that's the reason why the coalition is so steadfastly committed to making sure we open those opportunities.

If you want to see a point of contrast between us and the Australian Labor Party, Mr Speaker, look no further than the TPP 11, because this Leader of the Opposition wanted to walk away from the TPP 11, with his tail between his legs, from a major trade agreement that is giving Australian farmers and Australian businesses access to $13.7 trillion of global economic activity. Point that contrast to what the coalition did. We followed it through, despite the fact that the Labor Party said it was a vanity project. We followed it through and we delivered it. We delivered it because this is the side of the House that delivers good sound policy, market access, jobs for Australians and new investment into the Australian economy, and which ensures that Australia continues to have a more prosperous future.