Japanese market opens

Swan Valley beef producers should receive a mid-to-long-term boost from Australia’s new free-trade agreement with Japan.
Swan Valley beef producers should receive a mid-to-long-term boost from Australia’s new free-trade agreement with Japan.

Australia struck a free trade agreement with Japan last week, slashing the taxes applied to many local products entering the Asian country.

While farmers and winemakers are expected to receive a boost from the deal, what does the historic deal actually mean at a local level?

Pearce MHR Christian Porter said local winemakers and farmers in Pearce would receive an unprecedented boost from the free trade agreement.

‘With the elimination of wheat and wine tariffs, this agreement represents a tremendous step forward for our Swan Valley wine producers and Wheatbelt farmers and will help strengthen our local economy and grow local jobs in these important regions,’ he said.

‘Other local industries, including vegetable and fruit growers, broad-acre farmers, seafood exporters, cattle, pork and sheep farmers ” from as far north as Lancelin and as far south as Beverley ” will benefit from this agreement,’ he said.

‘It will drive exports and ensure Australia remains competitive against some of our biggest trading competition countries like the United States, European Union and Chile.’

Cattle producers in Gingin predominately supply beef to the local market.

Beermullah cattle farmer and Gingin Shire deputy president David Roe said while it was positive news for the beef industry, it would take time and planning before the full benefits were seen on a local level.

‘To really benefit, you need to be able to provide a continuous supply that, traditionally, WA hasn’t been able to do like the feed lots over in the eastern states,’ he said.

‘Locally, it will take someone to start a market before there would be supply for overseas.’

Midlands Cattle Breeders Association chairman Tony Sudlow said the free-trade agreement was ‘positive’.