Trade Ministers need firm hand over Queensland
Trade Ministers need firm hand over Queensland - ExportNZ
ExportNZ is urging a firm hand at today’s meeting of the Trade Ministers of New Zealand and Australia.
Trade Minister Todd McClay is meeting with the Australian Federal Trade Minister in Canberra today.
ExportNZ Executive Director Catherine Beard says the issue of Queensland apparently flouting the Closer Economic Relations agreement needs to be resolved.
The Queensland Premier has committed to favour Queensland businesses over New Zealand businesses for procurement contracts. From next month Queensland businesses will receive positive weightings of up to 30 percent when government contracts are being considered.
Catherine Beard says this is contrary to the terms of Closer Economic Relations, under which Australia and New Zealand businesses should be treated equally in both countries.
"New Zealand has always played with a straight bat with that regard, as does the Australian Federal Government. But at State level, there appears to be some discrimination against New Zealand businesses.
"The ‘Buy Queensland’ promotion should be about encouraging Aussies to buy their local product, just like ‘Buy NZ Made’ encourages New Zealanders to buy Kiwi-made. It’s OK to encourage your people to buy local, but it’s not OK to mandate State Government weightings that amount to protectionism.
"The protectionism in Queensland’s policy is completely contrary to Closer Economic Relations between New Zealand and Australia."