Federal Agricultural Minister Barnaby Joyce
Federal Agricultural Minister Barnaby Joyce Allan Reinikka

Barnaby turns his attention to our local food producers

FEDERAL Agricultural Minister Barnaby Joyce is in Casino today to meet with local food producers about the historic China Australia free trade deal.

Mr Joyce will discuss the positive implications of the free trade agreement with local food producers including the Casino meatworks, Richmond Dairies and New World foods.

The visit follows comments by Page MP Kevin Hogan yesterday that Federal Labor was "sabotaging" the China Australia free trade deal, which is expected to deliver a huge windfall to local food producers.

"We export a lot of what we produce here (so) these agreements are really important here," he said.

"It's exceptionally important to the 1400 people who work at the abbatoir and every industry that supports the abbatoir.

"Labor are sabotaging that potential agreement."

Nationals senator Nigel Scullion said there was "no reasonable answer" why Labor wasn't fully behind the deal.

Last Saturday Mr Shorten told The Northern Star Labor supported free trade but wanted to safeguard Australian jobs.

But Mr Scullion said the terms of the agreement were near identical to one signed with Chile under the Rudd-Gillard Labor government

"There's no risk to Australian jobs," he said.

Mr Scullion accused Mr Shorten of being beholden to the unions, particularly the hard-line CFMEU who he said were conducting a joint $30 million campaign against the free trade deal.

"It's just fear mongering, because like all subscription driven organisations, the CFMEU… have to create a problem. They're seen to be fighting so people pay them money."



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