The Federal Opposition are ignoring the advice of former Labor PM Bob Hawke to support the China FTA in its current form. Mr Hawke, who has close ties to China, is quoted in The Australian newspaper as saying opposing the deal would be "against Australia's best interests".
Former Labor Prime Minister Bob Hawke has come out in strong support of the free trade agreement, as Prime Minister Tony Abbott has confirmed the agreement will not be re-negotiated.
But fellow committee member and Labor backbencher, Kelvin Thompson, has refused to support the China deal in its current form. "Nowhere in the agreement does it make labour market testing mandatory and it expressly does away with the need for skills assessment for a whole series of occupations, electricians, motor-mechanics," he said. "I don't think we should be supporting the China free trade agreement, we have got a situation where unemployment is too high to be able to contemplate more people coming in under temporary entry work permits."
Chair of the Treaty Committee which has held public hearings around the nation, Queensland Liberal MP Wyatt Roy has criticised Labor for losing its way on trade. "The Labor Party had a history of opening up our economy and they are running a fear campaign based on falsehoods it seems," Mr Roy said.
The Treaties Committee will report to the government after public hearings are complete and enabling legislation will be introduced to the parliament before the deal is ratified.