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Greater Effort by Turnbull Government Needed on ChAFTA

Posted on 8 October, 2015 at 19:35

It's nice that the Federal Government has taken out advertisements in the major Australian newspapers in support of the China Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA)

However, nice is just not good enough. The hard reality is the ChAFTA has been languishing for months in the Australian Parliament, whilst Australian exporters continue to miss out on trade deals with China due to the continuation of export tarfiffs and duties which many other countries exporters do not have to face.

That means the Australian economy is not performing as well as it ought, and industry sectors including agribusiness, coal, pharmacueticals and cosmetics, and services like finance and engineering, are not producing new jobs for Australians like they should.

New Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull must take the lead on getting the ChAFTA ratified by the Australian Parliament as a matter of urgency. Media advertising might help win the public over, but that is not where the problem lies. The problem sits with Bill Shorten and his Parliamentary Labor Party, who have blocked the passage of the ChAFTA.

Now is the time for Malcolm Turnbull to pick up the phone to Bill Shorten and to cross-bench MP's in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, and to use his considerable powers of persuasion to get the ChAFTA endorsed by the Parliament.  Advertisements might be nice, but the ChAFTA is of such significance to Australia's future, it's time for real leadership.

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