Doorstop interview, Townsville

  • Transcript, E&OE
Topics: Trade and export opportunities.
20 December 2018

Phillip Thompson: Welcome back to town Minister Birmingham. The weather's held off andit's nice and sunny today, and it's not as humid as Cairns I was just told.It's important that we're here today with Roy and his team because they providean essential service to not just Australia and the mines around Townsville, butalso the trade to Papua New Guinea and East Timor.

We had a really good conversation about East Timor,we were there at the same time in 2007. I was in greens, a flak jacket, and ahelmet and he was there building a service station. So, it's very importantthat we highlight the services that Roy and his team do here in Townsvillebecause it is very important that everything goes out through the port. So theport is important, the Townsville Widening Project that's happening now thatthe federal government invested $75 million dollars into is imperative for themto continue doing that. So I'd like to welcome the minister to Townsville andto say a few words.

Simon Birmingham: Thanks Phil. It's fantastic to be here with our outstanding LNPCandidate for Herbert, Phillip Thompson who is such a champion of theTownsville community and particularly ensuring that there are job opportunitiesfor young people in Townsville in the future. Here at Liquip hosted by Roy andhis team, we can see an outstanding example of how it is that new jobs for thefuture are being created. This business is largely built a strong exportproduct just in the last four to five years.

During that time our government has proudly seenthe transformation in the way trade and export happens from Australia. We nowroutinely record trade surpluses in Australia. Gone are the days of regulardeficits, here are the days of regular trade surpluses because under ourgovernment businesses are exporting more. Businesses like this one who havedeveloped behind us this large truck that's going to go to Papua New Guinea.Hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of (indistinct) here in Townsvillebeing sold into PNG to carry Liquip fuel that's essential for aviationindustries. It's just one example of new manufacturing jobs being created andacross Australia we've seen more than 80,000 new manufacturing jobs createdover the last year. And it's this growth and this boom in exports that isunderpinning economic growth, jobs growth, the return to surplus that ourgovernment has delivered. The tax cuts that we can then afford to deliver andthe investment in services in record education and health funding we can affordto deliver because we have a stronger economy fuelled by stronger businesseslike this one.

That's all at risk if we see Bill Shorten and hismob carry out the type of tax hikes they're promising for the future which iswhy we're going to make sure we work hard, day and night to get great candidateslike our candidate here for Herbert, elected to ensure that we can continue thejourney of growing the Australian economy, creating more jobs, ensuring we'vegot the revenue streams to be able to keep lowering taxes and to keep creatingmore opportunities for the future.

Journalist: Are there any freetrade deals on the horizon or sort of initiatives that a business like thiscould take advantage of?

Simon Birmingham:This business is particularly focused on itsexports into the Pacific region and our PACER Plus free trade agreement thatwe've negotiated across Pacific Island countries is a really critical part ofour Pacific step-up strategy to ensure that we grow the economies of ourPacific friends, but also do that in a way that has mutually beneficial tradearrangements. We look forward to seeing countries across the region ratify thatand we're supporting them to do so. But of course it comes on top of tradeagreements our government has struck with China, with Japan, and South Korea.The Trans-Pacific Partnership with 11 of the world's leading economies and theopportunity for us to continue to do so. With Indonesia, with the EU, with theUK, a range of different opportunities in the pipeline with Latin Americancountries as well. And we want to make sure that we maximise that, but onceagain it's a stark choice because our government has delivered more tradeopportunities through trade agreements with other countries in our region andaround the world. The Labor Party at their national conference just in the lastfew days have committed to trade policies that would cease new trade agreementscoming into effect and jeopardise the opportunity for Australian businesses tokeep exporting more goods and services to the world.

Journalist: And overall wouldyou say Townsville trade and export market is going quite well?

Simon Birmingham: Townsville is an incredible city that has demonstrated time and againits resilience and its capacity for businesses like this one Liquip to be ableto grow their business to create modern manufacturing jobs, and we really wantto see more of that. We know that young people in Townsville need and deserveto go in industries like this, and are going to best get it by having anenvironment in which the economy grows, businesses are confident to invest.That's why you've got to keep lowering taxes as we are, manage the economycarefully, to create those job opportunities for young Australians. Theproudest achievement of our government is that over the last 12 months we sawyouth employment grow at a record level faster than ever recorded in Australianhistory. We want to keep that going and make sure it's happening in communitieslike Townsville, which is why we have to keep on the economic course ourgovernments put us on. Thanks guys.

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