Today Show

  • Transcript, E&OE
Subjects: China beef ban, Malcolm Turnbull.
31 October 2017

KARL STEFANOVIC: Welcome back to the program. Good news for Aussie cattle farmers this morning, with a ban on red meat exports to China lifted overnight. The Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Steven Ciobo, joins us now from the Goldy. Minister, good morning to you. Significant news for producers and our economy.

STEVEN CIOBO: Yeah look great news Karl to have the lifting of this ban on six facilities. In July this year the Chinese authorities said because some facilities weren't complying with China's import standards around labelling – I should make it clear, it wasn't about food safety, about labelling – they put a ban in effect. We've had that lifted now. A lot of work's gone into this and we've done it a pretty tight amount of time. And I'm grateful for Chinese authorities who worked alongside us to get us back on track.

KARL STEFANOVIC: It's not going to be easy, there's fresh competition with China from the US.

STEVEN CIOBO: Well mate, I mean this is such an important part of our economy. Of course getting Aussie beef onto the shelves in China, a massive consumer market, this really powers regional economies, especially in regional Queensland, regional New South Wales, the Northern Territory, across the length and breadth of our country. So, yeah, there's a lot of competitors but, you know what, nothing's quite as good as an Aussie steak.

KARL STEFANOVIC: Nothing is better than an Aussie steak, you're 100 per cent right about that. And it's good news for our producers. A question for you this morning, is Malcolm Turnbull all right?

STEVEN CIOBO: Yeah, good as gold mate.

KARL STEFANOVIC: He seems a little angry these days.

STEVEN CIOBO: No. Look, I think the Prime Minister of course has a huge amount on his plate, but as a government I think people assess us based upon our job and the performance that we do. Our main job as far as we're concerned is growing the Australian economy and getting people into work. That's what we've been focused on.


STEVEN CIOBO: No. Of course, I mean I see these things from time to time and people like to grab themselves a headline.

KARL STEFANOVIC: So Warren Mundine reckons he's copped a few sprays.

STEVEN CIOBO: Well look, I think the great thing about Malcolm Turnbull is that he's someone who says it as he means it. People know where they stand with him. And look, frankly, I think that people know Malcolm Turnbull is taking the country in the right direction.

KARL STEFANOVIC: So he is angry?

STEVEN CIOBO: I think that's the third or fourth time you've asked me and the third or fourth time I've said no.

KARL STEFANOVIC: Are you getting angry now? Oh yeah.

STEVEN CIOBO: I couldn't… I live on the Gold Coast Karl, I couldn't be more Zen.

KARL STEFANOVIC: Have you simmered down Barnaby Joyce yet? He's certainly angry.

STEVEN CIOBO: Mate, I think Barnaby is going to be as busy as, you know, one of those blue flies, as they say. And he's going to be very focused on making sure he gets us over the line in New England and wins back the support from the people in New England.

KARL STEFANOVIC: I'll tell you who's not angry, Julie Bishop. She looks incredibly comfortable as acting PM.

STEVEN CIOBO: Well that's because Julie has years of experience. She of course is the Deputy Leader and she'll do a sterling job as acting PM while the PM's in Israel.

KARL STEFANOVIC: Has she got higher ambition do you think?

STEVEN CIOBO: Look; I think that everyone knows where we stand right now. Malcolm Turnbull's the Prime Minister, he's doing a sterling job, and he'll still be Prime Minister and take us to the next election.

KARL STEFANOVIC: And hopefully he'll find happier times soon.

STEVEN CIOBO: Karl, I've got to say, seriously, I've known Malcolm Turnbull for a long time. He is in a very good place. He knows what he's about. He's very confident in the role and he's, I'm very, very sure, absolutely committed to making sure we get this job done.

KARL STEFANOVIC: Are you worried about the polls?

STEVEN CIOBO: You know Karl, the great thing about politics is that you just wait half an hour and there's another poll that comes out. So, I don't get too stressed about them.

KARL STEFANOVIC: All right. Good to talk to you this morning. Thank you and good luck on the Goldy. It doesn't like look a great day there for Halloween.

STEVEN CIOBO: Well hopefully it'll fine up. That's the great thing about the Gold Coast; by 9:00am it'll be beautiful.

KARL STEFANOVIC: Good to talk to you Steven. Thank you.

STEVEN CIOBO: See you mate.

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