Mr PASIN (Barker) (13:42): My electorate of Barker produces some of Australia’s highest quality food and fibre and we have an international reputation for it. From the premium reds of the Barossa and Coonawarra to wagyu beef in the south east to rock lobster from Barker’s southern ports, the electorate of Barker is every foodie’s dream. This amazing produce employs thousands of people across Barker, right across the supply chain, supporting local communities and making our region a great place to live, work and raise a family.
Unfortunately, for many local producers, COVID-19 has disrupted some of our key export routes. Since April 2020 our government’s $575 million International Freight Assistance Mechanism Program has assisted over 300,000 tons of premium produce to reach customers across 58 international destinations. Local produce such as southern rock lobster has been given a lifeline through this program following devastating market interruptions with key trading partners. While the current program is set to end next month, I’m here to say that I am lobbying my federal colleagues in this place to continue and indeed expand the program to ensure our local farmers and fishers have access to the key markets around the world that they rely on. By supporting our exporters through this tough time we are making it easier for us to achieve our $100 billion plan by 2030. (Time expired)