Photo caption: Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton with the Australian Political Exchange Council’s 14th Delegation from the Philippines
UK Free Trade Agreement
Good news for farmers and those seeking work in the United Kingdom! On Wednesday 31 May we welcomed into force the Australia-United Kingdom Free Trade Agreement (A-UKFTA).
The groundwork for this historic deal was laid by my Coalition colleagues and I’m pleased that it has now been ratified, with 99 per cent of Australian products now able to enter the UK duty free and a timetable for the elimination of tariffs on beef, sheep meat, dairy and sugar.
This agreement also opens up opportunities for more Australians to work professionally in the UK, including young people.
For more information on the benefits of this new trade agreement please visit the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website: www.dfat.gov.au/trade/agreements/in-force/aukfta
Organ donation and transplantation
In Parliament last week I spoke on the Australian Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation Authority Amendment (Disclosure of Information) Bill 2023. This Bill is to allow more information, with the permission of families, to be dispersed to the public to raise awareness around organ and tissue donation.
I have argued that the privacy of recipients needs to be guarded completely. I have also argued that those who choose to donate their organs or tissues need to inform their family members of their wishes very clearly to prevent further grief should they pass away.
I supported the Bill with the reservation that it needed to be carefully scrutinised through the Senate process. For my complete speech please visit my website, where you can find copies of all my speeches:
Delegation from the Philippines
Recently in Canberra I had the pleasure of providing a briefing to the Australian Political Exchange Council’s 14th Delegation from the Philippines.
The Exchange supports visits of young political leaders between Australia and other countries, and I was glad to meet with these outstanding young people representing the Philippines.
These young leaders, all from rural areas of the Philippines, were engaged, articulate, and very keen to learn more about the National Party and Australian politics. It’s a reminder that we are part of an interconnected global community, and that our young people are very much our future across the world.
Referendum legislation passes Lower House
Last week I was called upon to count the votes as the House of Representatives (Lower House) passed legislation for the referendum on enshrining a Voice to Parliament.
This referendum is likely to occur later this year, and it is Australians who will decide whether to adopt the proposed changes to the constitution. This will be a permanent change.
A referendum is the only mechanism by which Australia’s constitution can be changed. Since 1901 only eight of 44 changes proposed by a referendum have been successful.
For more information on what a referendum is I encourage you to read the fact sheet from the Parliamentary Education Office: https://peo.gov.au/understand-our-parliament/having-your-say/elections-and-voting/referendums-and-plebiscites/