Mr GOODENOUGH (Moore) (14:16): My question is to the Minister for Foreign Affairs. Will the minister update the House on the competitive advantage which the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement will yield for Australian businesses? Are there any obstacles that will be presented to this?
Ms Chesters interjecting—
The SPEAKER: The member for Bendigo will cease interjecting. The member for Bendigo is warned!
Mr Champion interjecting—
The SPEAKER: The member for Wakefield will leave the House under standing order 94(a). I have warned him three times in 15 minutes.
The member for Wakefield then left the chamber.
Ms JULIE BISHOP (Curtin—Minister for Foreign Affairs) (14:17): I thank the member for Moore for his question. From Western Australia to New South Wales, from the Northern Territory to Tasmania, this government has shown that every state and territory will benefit from the signing of a China-Australia Free Trade Agreement. On this side of the House, we have already informed colleagues opposite and, indeed, the Australian public of the benefits to the resources industry, the agriculture industry, the horticulture industry and the manufacturing sector in Western Australia, but there will also be benefits across the nation and, specifically, for our services industry.
This is a deal that will deliver for the people of Western Australia and the people of Australia. Competitors outside Australia understand this. They understand what the Labor Party here does not. There are advantages to us that our competitors are quite concerned about. New Zealand's Prime Minister, John Key, thinks that Australia should sign the free trade agreement despite it being against New Zealand's competitive interests. He said:
Having negotiated an agreement that is high quality, you’d like to grab it with both hands. New Zealand will be quite happy if you don’t.
In other words, John Key is saying they want to upgrade their own free trade agreement with China to get what we have got. The Leader of the Opposition does not understand this. New Zealand's own free trade agreement has already delivered benefits that are 11 times greater than the most optimistic commentators could come up with, yet the Leader of the Opposition wants to reject our agreement with China. China itself sees the benefits to Australia.
Ms Chesters interjecting—
The SPEAKER: The member for Bendigo is warned!
Ms JULIE BISHOP: Madam Fu, the chair of China's foreign affairs committee, told me yesterday in Canberra that Chinese companies will be competing against Australian companies now, particularly in the beef and dairy industries. So blocking this free trade agreement means denying jobs in industries that are so pertinent to our country.
Indeed, in the electorate of Canning there are beef producers and dairy producers who will benefit from this free trade agreement. Given that there is a by-election on Saturday, the people of Canning will have an opportunity to vote for Andrew Hastie, the Liberal candidate who supports a free trade agreement, rather than the Labor candidate, who does not. They will be voting for the party that believes in jobs and opportunity, and that is the Liberal Party with the National Party. The coalition believes in jobs and opportunity. When the Leader of the Opposition was a union boss, he tried to prevent an agreement with China by denying it market economy status. The Leader of the Opposition has a history of double-dealing on free trade agreements, saying one thing publicly and another privately. Labor terminated funding to nine government departments and agencies to prevent the free trade agreement continuing with China. So on Saturday the electors of Canning will have a choice: vote 1, Andrew Hastie. (Time expired)
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