JOEL FITZGIBBON MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR AGRICULTURE AND RESOURCES
MEMBER FOR HUNTER
MADELEINE KING MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR TRADE
MEMBER FOR BRAND
It is clear the Morrison Government has no plan to address the escalating concerns of Australian exporters following reports that Australian rock lobsters are being delayed in obtaining Chinese customs clearance.
The Government has no plan to resolve this crisis, and it is not treating the Trade portfolio with the importance it demands. Trade, Tourism and Investment Minister Simon Birmingham has in recent days taken on the additional roles of Finance Minister, including Special Minister of State, and Government Leader in the Senate.
Export problems with lobsters are emerging after barley growers, wine makers, meat processors, coal companies and cotton growers have all experienced difficulties accessing the Chinese market this year, putting at risk billions of dollars in trade and thousands of Australian jobs.
Australian exporters deserve a clear explanation for why this has occurred.
Labor calls on the Government to use all appropriate means to address these trade issues.
It is baffling that the Government has downgraded the importance of the Trade portfolio just as Australian exporters are experiencing mounting problems with China.
Australia needs a Trade Minister who can devote the requisite time and energy to fix our trade problems with China.
Australian exporters could rightly ask: what is the hold-up with appointing a new Trade Minister?