The Australian Dairy Industry Council (ADIC) has welcomed the introduction of the Bills to ratify the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) by the Minister for Trade and Investment, the Hon. Andrew Robb, into the House of Representatives today.
ADIC Chair, Noel Campbell said the Labor party needs to put politics aside to ensure that the deal is ratified as soon as possible.
“I commend Minister Robb for introducing these Bills and urge both sides of Parliament to pass it promptly,” Mr Campbell said.
“The ChAFTA is a great deal for Australian dairy and a great deal for the Australian community. To delay the ChAFTA means a lost opportunity, for jobs, farmers, and regional towns. We need to implement this deal swiftly to ensure Australia doesn’t fall further behind its competitors who already have an FTA with China.”
Mr Campbell noted that the implementing legislation makes no changes to the Migration Act. The ADIC understands the labour market provisions in ChAFTA are consistent with the existing 457 visas and other free trade agreements. Mr Campbell called on all sides to consider the benefits to all Australians and ratify the agreement as soon as possible.
If the ChAFTA is ratified this year, the dairy industry will see a growth in job creation across the value chain, both on farm and in the processing plants. The ADIC expects that around 600-700 jobs will be created within the first year of ratification. The flow-on effects of this growth would undoubtedly benefit the rural and regional communities where dairy plays an important role.
Implementation this year would also mean the elimination of tariffs on Australian dairy products to China worth approximately $60 million.
The Australian dairy industry has fought hard for the ChAFTA, and remains committed to working with both sides of parliament to ensure the deal is ratified before the end of the 2015 calendar year.
Shona McPherson, Media Officer
M: 0447 161 919