The impact of nations closing borders to free trade spells a disaster for northern agricultural industries, Northern based Government Senator Ian Macdonald said.
Key economic modelling reported widely earlier this week suggests dire consequences for the Australian economy if free-trade commitments fall to increasing economic protectionism.
“Beef and sugar have been two of the huge winners from free trade agreements and it is essential for Northern jobs that free trade arrangements continue to be valued and expanded,” Senator Macdonald said.
“So many jobs are in the north depend on the sugar and beef industries alone, and any scale back of existing market access would be a disaster.”
When you add to that the other primary products or exported from the north like horticultural products then the impact that would be devastating, Senator Macdonald said.
“I can never understand why Mr Bob Katter, who represents arguably Australia's biggest beef and sugar electorate, is so opposed to free trade agreements.
“The future of many jobs and towns in the north and west depend upon our cattle and beef exports and sugar exports.
“Of course, our mining industry is a major employer in the north and west in our state and benefits from greater freedom of trade.
“I call upon Mr Katter and his party in the Queensland State Parliament to unequivocally support free trade so that the jobs and growth can continue in northern Australia.”