Trade Ministers need firm hand over Queensland – ExportNZ
ExportNZ is urging a firm hand at today’smeeting of the Trade Ministers of New Zealand and Australia.
Trade Minister Todd McClay is meeting with theAustralian Federal Trade Minister in Canberra today.
ExportNZ Executive Director Catherine Beardsays the issue of Queensland apparently flouting the Closer Economic Relationsagreement needs to be resolved.
The Queensland Premier has committed to favourQueensland businesses over New Zealand businesses for procurement contracts.From next month Queensland businesses will receive positive weightings of up to30 percent when government contracts are being considered.
Catherine Beard says this is contrary to theterms of Closer Economic Relations, under which Australia and New Zealandbusinesses should be treated equally in both countries.
“New Zealand has always played with astraight bat with that regard, as does the Australian Federal Government. Butat State level, there appears to be some discrimination against New Zealandbusinesses.
“The ‘Buy Queensland’ promotion should beabout 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 tobuy local, but it’s not OK to mandate State Government weightings that amountto protectionism.”The protectionism in Queensland’s policyis completely contrary to Closer Economic Relations between New Zealand andAustralia.”