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Question, bilateral trade relationships, agriculture

Ms PRICE (Durack) (15:07): My question is to the Minister for Agriculture. Will the minister outline how the government's policies are contributing to the growth and prosperity of agriculture in Australia? How is this helping to strengthen our bilateral trade relationships with our nearest neighbours.


Mr JOYCE (New EnglandMinister for Agriculture and Deputy Leader of The Nationals) (15:08): I thank the member for Durack for her question. The member for Durack's seat is the largest in Australia, as we all know. In fact, it is the second-largest single seat in the world. The other one, I think, is Nunavut in Canada, which is held by the minister for the environment.

Just in August I signed with Chairman Siregar a reaffirmation of our commitment on the Indonesia-Australia partnership on red meat and cattle. Why did we need to sign that reaffirmation. Why did we need to put $60 million towards building our relationship with Indonesia? Why would we have to do that? One good reason is that last year we exported $460 million worth of cattle to them and $1.2 billion worth of wheat.

There is another reason. I went back to the former Prime Minister's book where she said that when she was in power she was helping us out with the live cattle trade and she wanted to act swiftly to put the industry on a sustainable footing. We know how she put it on a sustainable footing—she shut it down; she shut the industry down. She sent a whole range of people in Northern Australia broke. She actually put complete and utter turmoil into beef industry. I just cannot comprehend how they could possibly do it. I look at my own side and I look around. I know that the member for Wentworth is actually one of our biggest cattle producers, so he would not have done it. I look at the member for Groom. You are in the agricultural industry, Member for Groom, so you would not have done it. The member for Wide Bay is in the rural industry. He would not have done it. Even the Treasurer, the member for North Sydney, he has got cattle so he would not do something like that. The member for Dickson, the health minister, actually has cattle as well. If you wait until after question time, he will give you their names! He would not have done it. The member for Calare would not have done it. The member for Parkes would not have done it.

The SPEAKER: The minister will resume his seat. The member for Grayndler on a point of order?

Mr Albanese: Madam Speaker, this answer is just a lot of bull!

The SPEAKER: The member for Grayndler can have a gold star!

A government member: He has got his scooter!

Mr JOYCE: If there was an issue about going down the scooter trade, well, you might have done it. Even the member for Hinkler—he is a farmer, and he would not have done it. The member for Mallee is a farmer. He wouldn't have done it. How could you have shut down the live cattle trade? So here is a question for you: is there one of you over there, just one of you, who owns so much as a beast—and I am not talking about your car. Do you own any sheep? Is there anybody out there who is a farmer? Is there one farmer? Just put your hand up. That's it.

Mr Abbott: I ask that further questions be placed on the Notice Paper.

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