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Malaysia Free Trade Agreement Comes Into Force

A free trade agreement with Malaysia comes into force today.

The treaty is known as MAFTA, the Malaysia-Australia Free Trade Agreement.

It is the seventh free trade agreement Australia has entered into. The others are with Chile, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, the United States and the multiparty ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand FTA.

Text of a media release from the Minister for Trade and Competitiveness, Craig Emerson

Free Trade Agreement with Malaysia in Force

EmersonAustralia’s ground-breaking free trade agreement with Malaysia enters into force today, opening up opportunities for exporters and investors across most sectors.

From today, 97.6 per cent of Australian goods currently exported to Malaysia are eligible for tariff-free treatment, rising to 99 per cent in 2017.

Service providers – including universities, schools, banks, insurers, telecoms companies and accountancy firms – will also benefit, with increased access to the Malaysian market and an easing of rules on control of Malaysian businesses. [Read more…]


Subtlety Lost: Craig Emerson On The Australian Media

The Minister for Trade, Craig Emerson, has written an opinion piece criticising coverage by the Australian media of recent political controversies.

EmersonEmerson focuses on the Gillard-AWU issue and the issues surrounding the sexual harassment case brought by James Ashby against Peter Slipper.

He is especially critical of coverage by the News Limited papers, The Australian and The Daily Telegraph.

Emerson also directs his fire at Tony Abbott, Julie Bishop and Christopher Pyne.

Of the media overall, Emerson says: “I am not asserting there is a general bias in the media. Some editors and a few journalists are blatantly biased. That has always been the case. But the real problem is the abandonment of professional standards to give effect to that bias. All subtlety is lost.”

Text of an opinion piece by the Minister for Trade, Craig Emerson.

Subtlety lost

At Sydney University in the early 1970s a course simply called “Government” was offered to economics, arts and law students. It was a time of social upheaval and the election of the Whitlam Government had ended 23 years of conservative rule. The Murdoch press had backed a change of government.

My tutor in Government, Lex Watson, a gay rights activist, had set us a task: to identify bias in the media. But as left-wing as Lex was, the six-week project wasn’t about left versus right, it was about the techniques used by the print media to slant a story to suit an editorial position. [Read more…]


Labor Pursues Brough Over Role In Slipper-Ashby Case

The federal government has targeted the Liberal National Party candidate for Fisher, Mal Brough, after today’s Federal Court decision in the James Ashby-Peter Slipper sexual harassment case.

Nicola Roxon

In a range of media appearances this afternoon, the Attorney-General, Nicola Roxon, the Trade Minister, Craig Emerson, and the Education Minister, Peter Garrett, have called for Brough to stand down over his role in the case. [Read more…]


Julia Gillard’s Father Dies, 83; Prime Minister Flies Home From APEC Meeting

Prime Minister Julia Gillard is flying home from the APEC meeting in Vladivostok, following the death of her father in Adelaide.

Julia and John Gillard

Mr. John Gillard was 83. He brought his young family from Wales to Australia in 1966.

Gillard was due to arrive at the APEC meeting for today’s talks. Instead, she was represented by Trade Minister Craig Emerson who informed Russian President Vladimir Putin of Gillard’s return to Australia. Putin then announced Gillard’s absence to the assembled delegates.

Emerson-Putin

Vladimir Putin

In a statement released in Vladivostok, Gillard said: “My father was my inspiration. He taught me that nothing comes without hard work and demonstrated to me what hard work meant as a shift worker with two jobs. He taught me to be passionate about fairness. He taught me to believe in Labor and in trade unionism. But above all, he taught me to love learning and to understand its power to change lives… I will miss him for the rest of my life.”

Full text of statement released by Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

STATEMENT FROM THE PRIME MINISTER

My father, John Gillard, passed away this morning in Adelaide.

He has battled illness in recent years but his death is a shock for me and my family.

Dad lived a long and full life. He was brought up in a coal mining village and left school at 14, but transcended these humble beginnings to become a man with a love of ideas, political debate and poetry.

Migrating to Australia in 1966, he studied for a new life in a new land and became a psychiatric nurse. For more than two decades, he showed his capacity for love and care to those most in need of help.

My father was my inspiration. He taught me that nothing comes without hard work and demonstrated to me what hard work meant as a shift worker with two jobs. He taught me to be passionate about fairness. He taught me to believe in Labor and in trade unionism.

But above all, he taught me to love learning and to understand its power to change lives. He always regretted his family background meant he had not proceeded on to higher education as a young man. He was determined that I had the opportunities he was denied.

I will miss him for the rest of my life.

I plan to travel home to Adelaide as soon as possible to grieve with my family. I ask that my family’s privacy be respected at this time.

Minister Emerson will take my place in the remaining APEC forums today and tomorrow.

VLADIVOSTOK, RUSSIA
8 SEPTEMBER 2012

12-09-08_gillard-statement-on-death-of-father


Horror Movie: Craig Emerson Sings ‘Whyalla Wipeout’

On the second day of the carbon tax, Trade Minister Craig Emerson has delivered an extraordinary performance during an interview on ABC television.

To the tune of the Skyhooks song “Horror Movie”, Emerson sang a ditty he called “Whyalla Wipeout”, a song intended to satirise the Opposition’s scare campaign against carbon pricing.

Emerson came to his television interview with recorded music backing apparently operated by his press secretary.


The Future of Trade Policy in an Uncertain World: Emerson

The Minister for Trade, Craig Emerson, has delivered a speech on trade in which he reasserted the Labor Party’s commitment to free trade, open markets and competition.

Minister for Trade, Craig Emerson

Minister for Trade, Craig Emerson

Addressing the Lowy Institute, Emerson said the Labor Party’s guiding philosophy of economic reform “has been a commitment to markets and competition”. He said the “presumption must be that competition is good, more competition is better and markets are better than governments in allocating scare resources”. [Read more…]


Craig Emerson Savaged By Laurie Oakes Over Pauline Hanson

This is Shadow Industrial Relations Minister Craig Emerson’s interview with Laurie Oakes on Channel 9’s Sunday program.

The savaging Emerson received was the third extraordinary interview in an extraordinary week when Pauline Hanson dominated the news as she languished in a Brisbane jail. [Read more…]