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Trade – Portfolio Responsibilities

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Monday, 6 June 2022

Tags: Trade, Cabinet

Ms O'CONNOR - Minister, under the Australian constitution, as you know, the federal government has responsibility for trade. In this portfolio you have no legislation to administer, attend no cross-jurisdictional meetings as minister and administer no outputs in the Budget. Although you're attending the upcoming trade delegation to New Zealand your media release says you're attending as Premier. All previous trade missions have been led by the Premier, including in 2016 before the Trade portfolio was established. We regard the portfolio of Trade really as redundant in terms of trade delegations. Minister, what do you do in this portfolio? Is your portfolio just a waste of taxpayer money for the purpose of political messaging?

Mr ROCKLIFF - No, it's not.

Ms O'CONNOR - What do you do in this portfolio that you don't do as Premier?

Mr ROCKLIFF - I recall as Trade minister previously, if my memory serves me correctly, we launched the trade plan in around 2019, which I think I've already explained. As well, our trade action plans and trade strategy 2019-25 will expand and diversify Tasmanian export interests and ensure the Government's support and initiatives align with market-driven growth opportunities across all sectors.

Ms O'CONNOR - This used to be done by the minister for economic development or State Growth.

Mr ROCKLIFF - We have a federal minister for trade in Don Farrell.

Ms O'CONNOR - Because it's a federal responsibility -

Mr ROCKLIFF - Yes, but I am sure there have been trade ministers in various other states, so it's a whole-of-government approach in many respects because trade -

Ms O'CONNOR - Like the Premier.

Mr ROCKLIFF - covers primary industries and the resources sectors and it is important for any trade minister to be on the front foot and engage with international markets and the like and we've got some key markets to engage with over the course of the next little while. The first is New Zealand, as you've said, Ms O'Connor, and I am Premier as well as Trade minister. When I was previously Trade minister I was Deputy Premier, but having a premier who is also Trade minister I think will be beneficial in terms of selling Tasmania in international markets.