Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement

15 Oct 2018 speech

I'm delighted to speak on this motion today, because our government is doing so much to support and encourage small and medium businesses across Australia. Just last week the Prime Minister announced that our government will deliver its tax relief five years earlier than planned. We are fast-tracking our tax cuts to support the more than three million small and medium businesses that employ nearly seven million Australians. In my electorate of Boothby, these tax cuts will support more than 14,000 small and medium businesses to invest and employ. Our changes mean that small and medium businesses will have a reduced tax rate of just 25 per cent by 2021-22 and unincorporated businesses will have a 16 per cent tax discount sooner. In addition to getting the tax rate down, we have extended the $20,000 instant asset write-off, first introduced in the 2015-16 budget, for a further 12 months and we have lifted the small business entity turnover threshold from $2 million to $10 million. We are doing these things because we know that lower company tax supports more investment, higher productivity, more jobs and higher wages.

Our plan gives Australian businesses a fair go, and it is an important investment in the future economic growth of our nation. Of course, we know that a strong economy means we can guarantee the essential services, like education and health care, that all Australians need. Our tax cuts are not the only action we are taking to strengthen our economy. Our government is also ensuring that Australian businesses and Australian farmers have access to more global markets so that we can create new jobs and keep our industries strong. Under our government, we have established free trade agreements with Japan, Korea and China, and this week we are ratifying the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which is one of the most comprehensive trade deals ever concluded. The TPP-11 will eliminate more than 98 per cent of tariffs between Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, New Zealand, Singapore and Vietnam. These 11 countries have a combined GDP of more than $13.8 trillion and close to 500 million consumers. For the very first time under the TPP, Australian exporters will have preferential access to two of the world's top 20 economies in Canada and Mexico.

The TPP is good news for our economy, farmers, manufacturers, service providers, small businesses and exporters. In 2017, nearly one-quarter of Australia's total exports worth nearly $92 billion went to TPP-11 countries. This can only grow as tariffs are eliminated under the TPP. The TPP-11 will provide guaranteed levels of access to services, including in the education, financial, transport and logistics, mining and health sectors, as well as improving regulatory regimes for investment—notably in mining and resources and telecommunications. In addition, this agreement will deliver benefits across the board, including for beef and sheep farmers, dairy producers, canegrowers, sugar millers, grains exporters, cotton growers, wool growers and winemakers. This will
be transformative in my home state of South Australia, given the importance of agriculture industries like beef, wool, lamb, grains and, of course, our fabulous wine industry. In my own electorate I have the wonderful Patritti Wines in Marion, which is Australia's only family-owned suburban winery. It is exactly the sort of business we want to see benefit from the TPP-11 through increased access to a range of markets.

The story of Patritti Wines is really quite extraordinary. The winery was started by an accidental migrant to Australia, Giovanni Patritti, who landed in Adelaide in 1926 instead of landing in America, where he thought he was going. Being a fabulous migrant and with a fabulous migrant story, like so many, he made the best of his situation, and, 90 years later, Patritti Wines is a very successful family-owned and operated winery that is recognised not only for its wines but also for its non-alcoholic grape juices. Patritti has been able to take its fantastic wines and juices to the world, particularly into Asia, and our government's commitment to the TPP will support its focus. It is critical that we ratify the TPP as soon as possible to lock in the forecast benefits and provide every opportunity for our producers and exporters to secure new market access for amazing familyowned businesses like Patritti Wines in my electorate.

Our government will continue to pursue a trade agenda that, together with other measures like tax cuts for small and medium businesses, contributes to a strong economy and creates Australian jobs. That's our plan and that is what we are delivering