Meat, livestock, dairy and grain producers in Mayo stand to make significant gains from the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA) signed this week.
Liberal candidate for Mayo Georgina Downer said the IA-CEPA would eliminate all Indonesian tariffs on sheep meat and frozen beef after five years, and remove all remaining tariffs on dairy lines.
“These are key agricultural industries in Mayo,” Ms Downer said. “Yet again the Liberal National Government is delivering improved trade market access for our farmers.
“This agreement will make our farmers’ products more competitive in an important overseas market with more than 200 million consumers.
“Free trade agreements (FTAs) are essential for the profitability and sustainability of farming businesses and agricultural industries in Mayo and across Australia.
“Our own domestic market is simply not large enough in many respects to accommodate the enormous productive capacity of our farmers, which is why fair and competitive access to export markets is so essential.
“FTAs already concluded by the Liberal National Government since 2013—such as Japan, Korea, China and the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP-11)—have delivered enormous gains for farmers in Mayo and Australia. A great example is the wine sector, a signature industry in Mayo and South Australia: our nation’s wine exports to China now exceed $1 billion per year.”
Ms Downer said primary producers in Mayo should be alarmed at Rebekha Sharkie’s casual dismissal of FTA benefits to their businesses.
“Farmers would rightly be very disappointed that Rebekha Sharkie continues to peddle the same old scaremongering myths in her opposition to free trade despite the obvious benefits to their industries,” she said.
“They cannot possibly have any confidence Rebekha Sharkie is representing their interests. It’s astonishing that she opposes achievements which directly benefit a major industry in Mayo. Farmers in our electorate deserve much better.”