MP calls out Government over trade stir
Federal Member for Blair Shayne Neumann has called on the Morrison Government to fix the issue of China's suspension of some Australian beef imports.
Mr Neumann said he remains concerned about the impact the suspension could have on local red meat processors, including JBS Australia at Dinmore and Kilcoy Global Foods in his electorate.
Chinese authorities have allegedly imposed the ban for technical reasons relating to labelling and health certificate requirements.
Mr Neumann encouraged the Federal Government to work with stakeholders both here and in China, including industry and unions, to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.
"It's very concerning to hear that both the Trade Minister and Agriculture Minister have not been able to get through to their Chinese counterparts on the phone," he said.
"China is Australia's largest trading partner and it is in both our countries' interests to have a productive relationship."
Mr Neumann said while there was no immediate threat to jobs, a solution needed to be found as soon as possible to provide certainty for local workers.
"Market access is vitally important to our economy and jobs, with these processors being some of the largest employers in the region," he said.
"More than 2,000 people work at the JBS plant at Dinmore in Ipswich and 30 per cent of its beef products go to China.
"Around 1,600 people work at the Kilcoy abattoir, with 20 per cent of its beef product exported to China.
"We need to protect these local jobs and I will be doing everything I can to make sure that happens.
"Whatever the reasons for these latest trade disruptions, the Morrison Government needs to fix this issue to help our local red meat processors.
"The Government must show that it can defend our national interests while supporting Australian jobs - including helping Aussie beef producers secure markets for their exports."