Historic sugar deal prompts calls for KAP to back free trade

Federal MP Bob Katter and his Katter Party State colleagues need to clearly outline their position on free trade, following today’s announcement of the Peru-Australia Free Trade Agreement, which is set to open the door on historic export opportunities for sugar growers.

Northern based Government Senator Ian Macdonald said Mr Katter, who has previously described himself as ‘Australia’s staunchest critic of free trade’ needed to explain to the electorate whether or not he supported this free trade deal.

“Mr Katter has been quoted as saying that free trade deals have proved disastrous for Australia, and that as a nation, we’ve come off second best as a result of them,” Senator Macdonald said.

“I also call on the KAP candidate for Hill, Shane Knuth, to clarify whether or not he support’s his party’s rhetoric on free trade, and this latest deal, which is expected to eliminate 99 per cent of tariffs that Australian exporters face into Peru.”

The newly created electorate of Hill covers a large part of the far north’s sugar growing region.

“Thanks to this new agreement with Peru, our sugar market access is now more than any other sugar exporting country has achieved in the last 20 years, and is equivalent to roughly 30 per cent of Peru’s imports.”

“Peru has granted Australia an unprecedented 90,000 tonnes of sugar market access, which is a windfall for the north, where most of this country’s sugar is produced.

“The sugar growing electorates of the north deserve to know where their elected representatives and candidates stand on this important issue.”

“I know Mario Quagliata, the LNP Candidate for Hill, and Andrew Cripps, the Member for the neighbouring electorate of Hinchinbrook, both support this new trade opportunity with this significant South American country.”

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