Exporters and producers throughout rural and regional New South Wales are now one step closer to experiencing the range of benefits from the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA).
The enabling legislation for this landmark agreement passed through the House of Representatives last week after the Coalition Government secured bipartisan support for the agreement.
To me, this is one of the most significant agreements I can ever remember coming through the Federal Parliament during my 8 years of representing the Parkes electorate.
I am very passionate about this agreement and have spoken on many occasions about how it will create jobs and open up opportunities across many Australian industries.
My electorate is an export oriented one with a large amount of agriculture, produce and minerals coming from the area.
I know it has been a great frustration to producers in my electorate that the great market to the north has been somewhat impeded by tariffs. In the last few years, New Zealand particularly has had an advantage because of their free trade agreement.
I am very much looking forward to the completion of this significant milestone in the near future.
The 2015 Regional Telecommunications Review Report to Government was tabled in Parliament last week.
The report looks at telecommunications access in regional, rural and remote Australia and highlights the importance of mobile coverage in regional Australia, the potential to maximise benefits from the rollout of the nbn satellite and fixed wireless networks, and the need to develop consumer safeguards to support regional Australia.
The report makes 12 key recommendations, including:
- improving the availability of mobile phone services, by attracting new investment and better leveraging existing infrastructure;
- establishing measures to ensure the nbn fixed wireless and satellite networks meet the demands of consumers into the future; and
- ensuring the funding and delivery of universal service obligations and related standards remain appropriate as consumer preferences change.
Having lived in rural and regional Australia all of my life, I know how heavily we all rely on telecommunications in our everyday lives.
The Government will give careful consideration to the Committee’s recommendations before providing a response.
The full report and list of recommendations is available at: www.rtirc.gov.au
People can also email email@example.com or call 1800 064 851 for more information.