After months of debate and uncertainty, on 21 October 2015 Federal Government and opposition
committed to passing the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) before the end of the year. As an industry, dairy is pleased that both sides
of politics have recognised the opportunities ChAFTA will provide Australia's dairy industry.We welcome this collaborative, bipartisan approach to
ensure clear passage of the agreement and entry into force as soon as possible.
The Australian dairy industry is particularly well-placed to take advantage of the enormous opportunities that will flow from our historic trade deal with
China. The tariff cuts that the ChAFTA delivers once it enters into force will enhance the competitive position of Australian dairy. This is good for
growth, for jobs, for the economy and a boom for our export market.
The dairy industry, led by the Australian Dairy Industry Council (ADIC), has fought hard for ChAFTA implementation. We have lobbied Parliament, and explained
to the media that if the ChAFTA is ratified this year, the dairy industry will see a growth in job creation across the value chain, both on farm and
in processing plants. It will also see further growth in confidence to invest in productivity. ADF expects that around 600-700 jobs will be created
within the first year of ratification. The flow-on effects of this growth will undoubtedly benefit the rural and regional communities where dairy plays
an important role.
The message has clearly been received, acknowledged and acted upon. I wish to thank all of you who have taken up this fight to ensure the ChAFTA is ratified
as quickly as possible. This deal is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to grow our businesses and our communities. On behalf of our industry, I look
forward to the swift passage of the enabling legislation through Parliament so that dairy can take advantage of the financial benefits and see the
whole value chain continue to grow sustainably and profitably over time.