Singapore-Australia Free Trade Agreement Bill 2017

I’m very pleased to speak on the Singapore-Australia Free Trade Agreement Amendment Implementation Bill. Given that he is in the chamber, I really want to commend Minister Ciobo on his efforts in putting this Singaporean deal together—it is very important to have it signed in an agreement to amend the free trade agreement or SAFTA. The free trade agreement is one of the pillars of our close relationship with Singapore. As a member for an electorate that exports some fine quality products and produce around the world—including services that will be available in Singapore as a result of this agreement—I acknowledge the work of the minister in this space. The minister, having visited my electorate not so long ago, understands the capabilities and the capacity not only of my electorate but those around Australia and the opportunities this agreement provides.

As a trading nation, Australia relies on trade—there’s no other way of putting it. Every new free trade agreement that we do brings another opportunity for those who provide goods and services, as this one does. I represent the amazing region of the South-West, and the Margaret River region in particular, and my electorate already exports to all areas of the globe and especially into Asia. Singapore is one of the main gateways for this fast-growing region. The OECD estimates the global middle class will swell to 4.9 billion people by 2030—two-thirds of whom are expected to reside in Asia, with China itself having one billion of that global middle class.

SAFTA provides unprecedented access to Asian markets through the trade hub that is Singapore. The opportunities in the Margaret River region and throughout the South-West—as the minister is well aware and he supported me strongly in achieving the necessary federal funding—have been boosted with the upgrade for the Bustleton-Margaret River Airport to international status and international and domestic freight. This is really a critical issue in my electorate. It open up the whole of the South-West, not just the immediate Margaret River-Bustleton area, to allow the export of products directly into Singapore and then on to Asia. It is an amazing, transformative project and opportunity. My electorate has things like the wonderful wine that we’re internationally known for, and Amelia Park’s beautiful lamb and beef. We have that amazing and wonderful delicacy, marron, and Brad Adams down at Augusta with his ocean-grown baby abalone. Then there is the Margaret River Chocolate Company, which produces a handmade, premium product, a wonderful delicacy. Vasse Virgin is producing some amazing olive oil, raw soaps and natural products. There are also the artisan cheeses and yoghurts. Then there are niche companies like the Margaret River Fudge Factory, which is an experience in itself, or Nauti-Craft, which recently won a national award recently for innovation. There are lots of opportunities.

We will see people coming to and from the region as a result of this free trade agreement and we will see even more opportunities. The SAFTA does a number of things, removing the tariffs on exports to Singapore across the board and giving market access for Australian exporters of services, particularly around education, the environment, telecommunications and professional services. I look at all the expertise we have in the irrigation space in the south-west. Harvey Water is a multiaward-winning provider of irrigation. It is a co-op run by local farmers.

They’ve done extraordinary, groundbreaking work. I’m sure this is the sort of expertise that is transferable. That sort of expertise fits into the services space. There will also be opportunities in education—for Manea college, for example—and for telecommunication companies, law firms and insurance companies. When we get people coming into the south-west, into Busselton and the Margaret River region, through that wonderful airport, we’ll be able to offer them a range of amazing experiences.

The free trade agreement provides a more open and predictable business environment, exactly what businesses call for both in Singapore and in Australia. It includes competition policy, government procurement, intellectual property, e-commerce, customs procedures and business travel. This is just the beginning. These amendments are a key economic plank of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. This is another high-quality trade deal completed by the Turnbull government. It builds on the agreements with China, Thailand and South Korea and the Singapore agreement itself, delivering significant economic benefits and driving strong growth in the value of Australia’s exports. I want to see more of those opportunities for businesses and my region of the south-west of Western Australia. I thank the minister for his efforts.

Forrest MP Nola Marino praises Nauti Craft in parliament

Dunsborough company Nauti Craft were given a plug in federal parliament this week by Forrest MP Nola Marino who praised the organisation for its innovation.

Nauti Craft developed a patented marine suspension system which separates the vessel’s hulls from the deck and superstructure through a passive reactive interlinked hydraulic system.

The technology provides more ride comfort, control, stability and reduces body vibration by up to 75 per cent.

Nauti Craft managing director Ken Johnsen said their system was now receiving recognition within the marine and defense industries.

“It was pleasing to also receive recognition from our local member Nola Marino,” she said.

The technology was first developed seven years ago by Eagle Bay resident Chris Heyring who had created similar technology for cars.

Mr Johnsen said the technology was very successful and it was eventually sold to a US company and used by Toyota, Nissan and other car makers.

“Nauti Craft is an adaption of what was originally developed on cars for boats, around $9 million has been invested in the project.”

Mr Johnsen said three business located in Japan, Singapore and Dubai were currently planning, designing and building boats using the Nauti Craft technology.

“Our ultimate aim is to have boat makers use the technology, which we get royalties from when boats are sold.”

Recently Nauti Craft were the winner of the Civil SME Innovation Grant for its innovative approach to improving the ride, handling, comfort and safety of marine vessels, especially at high speeds and in high seas.

The award was presented by the Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne at the Maritime Australia Limited Industry Innovation Awards.

Mr Johnsen said they were now hoping to make inroads in the defense industry and leverage off the interest which has been shown giving soldiers safer and more comfortable boat trips.

Source: Busselton-Dunsborough Mail.

TBA Hosts Canberra Event for Breeders and Australian Parliament

The message that Thoroughbred breeding plays a vital role in the rural economy and Australian society was echoed by Australian government ministers and senior politicians at a Thoroughbred Breeders Australia (TBA) event in Canberra Monday evening. Defence Minister Marise Payne and Leader of the Opposition Bill Shorten were both on hand at the gathering to reminisce about their interest in breeding and racing, as well as trainers James Cummings and Peter Moody who spoke about how the Thoroughbred industry has shaped their lives.

Breeders from all over Australia attended the event, among them Tom Magnier of Coolmore Stud, Antony Thompson of Widden Stud, Ron Gilbert of Highgrove Stud, Chris Watson of Mill Park, as well as Mark Webster of Inglis and Vin Cox and Barry Bowditch of Magic Millions. Also in attendance were foreign investors Zhang Yuesheng of YuLong Park, China, and Justin Fung, who heads Aquis Farm.

“We held our first Thoroughbred Breeders’ Australia event in Canberra last year and got a great turnout, but tonight surpassed our expectations,” said TBA chief executive, Tom Reilly. “We had our pitch prepared to sell our industry: jobs in the regions, investment from overseas, export opportunities, but by the time we got up to speak, leading politicians from all sides had made the point for us. It was very gratifying that so many politicians were so well informed that they advocated so strongly on our behalf.”

Defence Minister Payne called the TBA forum “a really important event on the parliamentary calendar,” and politicians thanked breeders for hosting the event.

“Thank you for what you contribute to the economy in Australia,” said Minister Payne. “Thank you for what you contribute, because your industry is a vital one to Australia.”

“Racing has events that create great interest and put us on the map, especially in Melbourne during the spring,” said Bill Shorten. “But without breeding, without the hard work that goes on at farms across Australia, we don’t have those races which are such a part of Australian society.”

Some of the other politicians who attended the event included Trade Minister Steve Ciobo, Veterans Affairs Minister Dan Tehan, Shadow Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Anthony Albanese, Small Business Minister Michael McCormack and Hunter MP and Shadow Agriculture Minister Joel Fitzgibbon.

“What an extraordinary job the breeding industry does in rural and regional Australia,” said Government Chief Whip Nola Marino, a co-convener (with Fitzgibbon) of the Parliamentary Friends of Primary Producers, which hosted the event with TBA and who also breeds and races horses in her electorate of Forrest, south of Perth. “It underpins, like so many agricultural industries do, so much of our regional economies.”

TBA representatives had spent the past several days in Canberra meeting one-on-one with Ministers, Opposition representatives, key advisers and senior bureaucrats, briefing them on key issues in the industry.

Source: Thoroughbred Daily News.

A new vaccine for young South West people

Member for Forrest Nola Marino said young people in the South West will benefit from the Turnbull Government providing free access to the new Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine from the start of 2018 to protect against more strains of HPV infection.

The new Gardasil® 9 vaccine will offer protection against nine strains of HPV (up from four), expanding protection against the virus and improving the health of our young people.

Gardasil® 9 is the most comprehensive and effective HPV vaccine ever and it only requires two doses (down from three), making it easier for young people to receive the full schedule and be protected.

Mrs Marino said that as part of the National Immunisation Program, Gardasil® 9 will be provided through school based programs to all 12 to 13 year old boys and girls in years 7 or 8.

“Having the HPV vaccine through a school based program maximises protection for girls and boys,” Mrs Marino said.

“For many years schools have been used for many years to delivering successful immunisation programs, including pertussis (whooping cough), varicella (chicken pox), and Gardasil®.”

The new vaccine will help protect girls and women ages 9 to 26 against cervical, vaginal, vulvar, and anal cancers and genital warts caused by 9 types of HPV.

For boys and men ages 9 to 26 the vaccine will protect against anal cancer and genital warts caused by those same HPV types.

Australia was the first country to introduce a free national HPV program, starting with girls in 2007, followed by boys in 2013.

The Turnbull Government has committed $460 million in 2017–18 for vaccine purchases and activities to promote immunisation uptake.

Our recent expansion to the NIP means all individuals up to the age of 19 years can catch up on missed vaccines – including Gardasil® 9.

Up-to-date HPV vaccination coverage rates are available at

Cape Naturaliste College Year 12 graduation ceremony 2017

Cape Naturaliste College Year 12 students celebrated their final school year at a graduation ceremony on Friday evening at Old Broadwater Farm.

The ceremony was attended by a number of special guests including Forrest MP Nola Marino who gave a keynote address to the Year 12 students.

Also in attendance were Vasse MP Libby Mettam, Cape Naturaliste College school board chairperson Christine Kershaw and Edith Cowan University’s South West Campus dean Lynn Farrell who is also a board member of the school.

This year congratulations went to the recipient of the VET dux award Erin Brokenshire who topped her class in vocational education and training.

The ATAR dux award went to Isobel Chapple who topped her class in Australian tertiary admission rank studies ahead of the exams which begin next month.

Source: Busselton-Dunsborough Mail.