Thursday 20 November, 2014

Mr TARZIA (Hartley) (15:22): I rise to congratulate the commonwealth government on its outstanding work to secure the free trade agreement with the People's Republic of China. I particularly want to acknowledge and thank our Prime Minister Mr Abbott, the Chinese President Mr Xi Jinping, the trade minister Mr Robb and his Chinese counterpart, who have worked tirelessly to secure this agreement for the benefit of our two great nations.

Australia's trade and investment relationship with China is massive. Exports to China in 2013 totalled $94,655 million, imports from China totalled $47,150 million, and total trade (being exports and imports) in Australian dollars in 2013 with China totalled $141,805 million. This is an extremely important week for the two nations and I thank the commonwealth government for having the foresight to instil this agreement for the betterment of generations for many years to come.

The federal Liberal government is an example to this government, which is tired, and it shows them how to actually drive an economy by boosting trade and reducing tariffs on our exports. While the Treasurer and the government are stuck blaming the commonwealth for their own misconduct and apathy over 12 years, the federal government is a real government that does not run out of agenda and does not run out of ideas, unlike this government which ran out of ideas yesterday and adjourned this place so early.

In South Australia, I note that the Premier has ridden on the back of the Prime Minister's coat-tails in trying to steal the success of the Liberal government's agreement. I draw the house's attention to the media release of the Premier, released hours after the agreement signed by President Xi and Prime Minister Abbott, where he states:

The South Australian government has placed a significant focus on our engagement with China and we have opened up significant trade opportunities as well as opportunities to deepen educational and cultural exchange.

The Premier's rhetoric since this agreement was announced, I suppose, shows how lucky we are to have the current federal government.

Having said that about this important agreement, I know that it will come as a great thing for many of my constituents in Hartley who are of Chinese background, and the number stretches into many hundreds. I would like to acknowledge them and wish them all the very best in their endeavours. Many of them are small business people who will benefit from this agreement.

I would like to acknowledge some of the business associations around Australia, particularly in South Australia, that support Chinese and Australian investment and investment between the two countries. The most prominent of these organisations include, but are not limited to, the Hong Kong Australia Business Association, the China Business Network of South Australia, the Australia China Business Council, the Chinese Chamber of Commerce, the Australia and China friendship and development association, and in Hartley I am proud to say, we have the China Australia Entrepreneurs Association Inc., which is based in Campbelltown in my electorate.

Although it is important to highlight the Premier's paucity of ideas, it is important to acknowledge that the commonwealth government has secured a Chinese consulate for the first time in this state's history, and I hope this will serve my constituents and all Chinese expats well for many years to come.

Once again, I thank the Prime Minister and the President for their excellent work in achieving this deal. I hope, in stark contrast to this lacklustre state government, that we can generate real jobs and growth into this ailing economy, because it is needed.