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Wednesday, 2 December 2015
Page: 9643

Trade


Senator McKENZIE (Victoria) (14:54): My question is to the Cabinet Secretary, Senator Sinodinos, representing the Minister for Trade and Investment. Can the Cabinet Secretary inform the Senate of the benefits Australian exporters are delivering for the Australian economy?


Senator SINODINOS (New South WalesCabinet Secretary) (14:54): I thank Senator McKenzie for her question and her great advocacy for rural and regional Australia. Yes, Australian exporters are a key component of our economy. That was exemplified in today's national accounts, where the largest contributor to growth in the September quarter was net exports, with a contribution of 1.5 percentage points to GDP growth.

The excellence of our exporters was on display at the 53rd annual Australian Export Awards gala, held in Melbourne last Friday and attended by the Minister for Trade and Investment and my colleague the Minister for International Education and Tourism—at least, according to the tweets he was there—to celebrate the achievements of Australia's finest export businesses. The Export Awards are co-presented by Austrade, ACCI and CPA Australia. ANCA was awarded the honour of Australian Exporter of the Year by the Minister for Trade and Investment in front of more than 500 attendees.

Senator McKenzie will be happy to know that ANCA is a Victorian success story. Founded and still headquartered in Melbourne, specialising in high-tech tool and cutter grinders, ANCA was also named the winner in this year's manufacturing category. ANCA has been a leader in this field for more than 40 years, having been founded in 1974 by two enterprising engineers with a desire to develop world-leading, computer controlled machinery. Since then, ANCA has gone from strength to strength and is now a significant Australian exporter, selling its products across the world and on track for a record year of growth. ANCA has hired 160 new employees to meet the increasing demand for their products. ANCA is proof that Australia has a very healthy manufacturing future with high-quality, innovative, value-adding products.


Senator McKENZIE (Victoria) (14:56): Mr President, I ask a supplementary question. Will the Cabinet Secretary inform the Senate of other success stories amongst the Australian exporters?

Senator Ian Macdonald: He only has 60 seconds.



Senator SINODINOS (New South WalesCabinet Secretary) (14:56): Senator Macdonald is right: I only have 60 seconds. Including ANCA, there were 12 category winners selected from 74 finalists covering sectors such as agribusiness, business services, the creative industries, education and training, environmental solutions, health and biotechnology, information and communications technology, minerals and energy, online sales, regional exporters and small business. These categories cover many of the key sectors Australia has a competitive advantage in.

These awards are a great initiative of the Australian government in conjunction with ACCI and CPA to put on show the best of Australian industry. I congratulate Austral Fisheries, Nuix, Alt.vfx, Origo Education, Rubicon Water, Blackmores, Soprano Design, Blast Movement Technologies, Halfbrick Studios, Tasmanian Quality Meats and b.box for kids for winning awards in their sectors. The 74 finalists generated more than $1.9 billion in export sales and employed more than 16,500 last year. (Time expired)


Senator McKENZIE (Victoria) (14:57): Mr President, I ask a further supplementary question. Those are great stories. What is the government doing to support these award-winning exporters and Australian exporters in general?


Senator SINODINOS (New South WalesCabinet Secretary) (14:57): If there is one Santa Claus in this parliament, it is the Minister for Trade and Investment, who has delivered in spades this year for the exporters and traders of Australia. This government has concluded three free trade agreements with our largest trading partners—China, Japan and South Korea—and the historic Trans-Pacific Partnership, an unprecedented trade agreement covering 13 regional nations and 40 per cent of global activity. Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus; his name is Andrew.

But we are not resting on our laurels as a government. The trade minister is off to India next week, and the Prime Minister and the trade minister recommenced talks with Indonesia on a comprehensive economic partnership. This followed on from the minister leading a record 360-member business delegation to Indonesia. We are also hosting fora and working with foreign investors to generate investment in the vast potential of Australia's north.