For a trading nation like Australia it shouldn't be the case that our national conversation about trade is relatively shallow and basic. At the moment, in many cases it's reduced to not much more than cheerleading for any and all trade agreements as they come along. You would think, at the very least, we could acknowledge that every trade agreement involves negotiation and that no trade agreement achieves all the things we would like.
The live sheep trade continues to decline. It is terminal. The export of boxed meat and chilled carcasses to the Middle East continues to grow. That's our future. That's the future of the trade. It's a future with higher value-added exports, more jobs in Australia and, most of all, better animal welfare outcomes.
Too many of our native species are on the brink. We have the worst record in the world when it comes to mammal extinctions. Yet we have a Coalition Government that doesn't believe in climate change, has weakened environmental protection and is cutting funds for conservation and land management.
The plastic will be in the fish, then the fire-retardants and colourants from the plastic will be in the fish, and then those chemicals, some of which are carcinogenic, will be in us. And yet it's only really now, when countries are refusing to take our plastic waste, that we are waking up to the problem and that the government is waking up to the problem.
Thanks to this Liberal government, WA has been lumped with the largest share of the worst NBN technology. We've got half as much again of the old copper line rubbish as the other states. And, surprise, surprise: our NBN performance is at the bottom of the pile.