MIL-OSI Australia: Labor’s rotten deal for Aussie farmers and our tourism industry

Source: Minister for Trade Tourism and Investment

Australian farmers and our tourism industry will suffer at the hands of a Shorten Labor government who plan to back an ACTU bid to put new restrictions on working holiday visas.

Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment said Labor had once again proven that they are beholden to their union masters, falling behind their proposal to ban backpackers working for a second year and putting more restrictions on work in the first year.

“These changes would have a devastating impact on our farmers in every state and will also impact on Australia’s thriving tourism industry,” Minister Birmingham said.

“Working holiday makers are critical in filling short-term workforce shortages but they also inject billions into Australia’s economy each year, particularly in regional areas.

“Labor and the ACTU’s plan to abandon altogether the second year working holiday visa would remove over 36,000 Working Holiday visa holders from the Australian economy.

“This is another Union driven policy by Labor that will have a detrimental impact on small businesses and our economy.”

Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Richard Colbeck said temporary workers made up a significant proportion of Australian agriculture’s seasonal workforce working across Australia each year.

“Access to sufficient labour, particularly for seasonal work, is a perennial issue and concern for the industry,” Assistant Minister Colbeck said.

“The long standing view of many in agriculture, fisheries and forestry is that reliable access to overseas workers is essential to the productivity and profitability in their sector.

“The Liberal-National Government is committed to expanding and enhancing the Work and Holiday program for all sectors, with recent targeted changes to the program designed to support farmers to fill critical workforce shortages.

“These changes are designed to target genuine workforce shortages in regional Australia without displacing Australian workers.

“For example, a third year visa option will be introduced for working holiday visas, and from 1 July 2019 onwards, those visa holders must complete six months of specified work in regional areas in their second year.”

The Liberal-National Government, through Tourism Australia is providing an additional $5 million to attract more backpackers to Australia to help pick the quality fruit we enjoy and to support our farmers and regional towns.

Australia is considered the second most desired destination for a working holiday globally. For the year ending June 2018, there were 309,000 working holiday maker arrivals to Australia, injecting $3.1 billion into the economy.

Media enquiries

  • Minister’s office: (02) 6277 7420
  • DFAT Media Liaison: (02) 6261 1555

MIL OSI Australia

MIL-OSI Australia: New Australia-UK agreements will provide certainty to Australian exporters

Source: Minister for Trade Tourism and Investment

Australia and the United Kingdom have signed a new bilateral Wine Agreement and Mutual Recognition Agreement overnight in London, which will help ensure the continued flow of trade post-Brexit.

Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham said these agreements would ensure arrangements already in place between Australia and the European Union for our wine and other exports continued to apply for the United Kingdom post-Brexit.

“This will mean Australian exporters can continue to benefit from existing arrangements for mutual recognition as they do currently, even if the UK leaves the EU without an agreement,” Minister Birmingham said.

“These agreements provide assurances to Australian exporters that they will be able to get their goods into the UK post-Brexit whether it be wine, medical devices or automotive parts without additional trade barriers or regulations.

“They are a significant and necessary step in our post-Brexit preparations, where we want to minimise disruptions to trade flows and provide as much certainty to Australian exporters as we can.

“On top of these, we’re committed to securing a comprehensive free trade agreement with the UK as soon as they are in a position to do so, which will even further boost trade flows between our two countries.”

Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud said nearly a third of our exported wine went to the UK last year.

“This agreement protects Australia’s geographical indicators so UK consumers know our wine is fair dinkum,” Minister Littleproud said.

“We can grow our UK trade under this agreement and put more money in Australian wine grower’s pockets.”

The Wine Agreement replicates an agreement already in place with the EU, meaning the UK will accept Australian labelling standards and certification standards as well as winemaking practices.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said the Mutual Recognition Agreement would ensure Australia and the UK continue to recognise the test reports and certificates issued by each other’s designated conformity assessment bodies.

“The Mutual Recognition Agreement will help facilitate trade flows between both countries, guaranteeing continuity of the existing mutual recognition arrangements post-Brexit,” Minister Andrews said.

“For Australian businesses, this will eliminate the cost and time of duplicative testing or the need for re-certification when their products arrive in the other country’s market.”

Media enquiries

  • Minister’s office: (02) 6277 7420
  • DFAT Media Liaison: (02) 6261 1555

MIL OSI Australia