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Queensland Government's 'reckless' procurement sentiments could threaten farm exports

14 August 2017

National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) President Fiona Simson has cautioned the Queensland State Government against ‘frustrating’ valuable free trade agreements by taking a unilateral approach to its Government procurement policy.

Ms Simson said the Queensland Government risked jeopardising trade opportunities for Queensland and Australian farmers by showing disregard for the terms of trade agreements negotiated and agreed to by Australia and many of its key trading partners.

“Statements by the Queensland Minister for Housing and Public Works, Mick de Brenni show a level of misunderstanding at best, and at worst, contempt for our agriculture sector and our farmers who rely on export markets for their livelihoods.

“Trade is critical and we need to nourish and continue to build relationships with key international partners. Minister de Brenni’s comments are unlikely to serve this purpose.”

Ms Simson said three quarters of Australia’s $60 billion annual farm production was exported.

“The development of preferential trade agreements underpin the success of Australia’s farm exports.

“This Federal Government and many before it, have spent years working towards the establishment of trade agreements, the benefits of which we enjoy today.

“The thought that a State Government would take action to undermine these negotiations, beggars belief.

“Such reckless activity is not only not in the national interest but, also potentially to the detriment of Queensland’s own farmers.”

“The NFF calls on the Queensland Government to rethink its short-sighted sentiments to Government procurement and put the interests of the nation and that of Queensland’s farmers, first.”

Media Enquiries: Laureta Wallace

0408 448 250

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