Question Without Notice – Trans-Pacific Partnership

Monday, 12 October 2015

Mr PITT (Hinkler) (14:38): My question is to the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources. Will the minister update the House on how the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement will help Australian farmers and exporters capitalise on the opportunities created by the coalition government’s free trade agreements with Korea, Japan and China?

Ms Rishworth interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Kingston will cease interjecting!

Mr JOYCE (New EnglandMinister for Agriculture and Water Resources) (14:39): I thank the honourable member for his question. A person who has grown up around Bundaberg, who went to Kepnock State High School, whose family has cane farms in the areas, as one person who absolutely has an interest in this TPP going through—it is an area where, no matter where you go in the Hinkler area, there are benefits to this.

We have seen, through this agreement, people such as Craig Van Rooyen of Sweet Sensations Farm, at Bundaberg, state that he is very excited about the TPP and the opportunities it will bring for his business. He is also doing some very interesting work on non-lethal pest management. Bundaberg Brewed Drinks are currently going through issues about how they can be benefactors of the TPP after being substantial benefactors of the China free trade agreement.

We have seen, also, new markets, because the deal that this government has done means that people in the fishing industry around Hervey Bay have new markets that they will see in Canada, Peru and Mexico and this brings about great opportunities for expansion. In horticulture, in heavy vegetables, such as pumpkins, and a whole range of horticultural produce in that area, we will see all tariffs to Canada eliminated on entry into the TPP. Pork tariffs into Mexico will be eliminated on entry, and to Malaysia, over 15 years and with pork being the most consumed meat in the world this is incredibly important for Australia and for all over. For wine there is elimination of all tariffs into Canada. This market is worth $174 million to us, so it is a great new expansion of that market. There is elimination over 11 years of tariffs into Vietnam. There is elimination of tariffs of quality wine into Malaysia over three years and bulk wine over 10 years.

Everything this government is doing is working to a vision, a plan, and then delivering. We have a vision for a greater return through the farm gate. We have a plan by all the free trade agreements and new live-animal destinations and all the work that we are doing to make sure that happens, and by the white paper to make sure that people reinvest back on their farms. We are delivering on it. We are delivering on the free trade agreements. We are delivering on the white paper. We are making sure that people on the land are better off because of this government.

The opposition have been asking questions about revenue, and the answer is quite obvious: to get better revenue you have to earn it. You have to go forward and find new markets. And who is the greatest obstacle to us in getting better revenue in this country? Where does the greatest obstacle lie? Straight opposite us. The Chinese free trade agreement, they do not believe in it. They do not believe in the solution to their own problems.

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