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PARLIAMENT OF AUSTRALIA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES Question QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE Trade Thursday, 20 August 2015 Clive Palmer – Member for Fairfax Responder Abbott, Tony, MP Mr PALMER (Fairfax) (14:15): My question is to the Prime Minister. It was a national disgrace when Labor’s pink batts scheme resulted in the deaths of Australians because unqualified workers did not meet Australian standards. When people are killed because unqualified workers from overseas come here under free trade agreements and complete work that does not meet Australian standards, will your government be responsible if any deaths occur? Mr ABBOTT (Warringah—Prime Minister) (14:16): That is a pretty squalid question, if I may say so, from a member who was quite happy to do deals with China when it suited his commercial interests to do so. Let me answer the member’s question by quoting, again, Professor the Hon. Bob Carr—the former Labor Premier of New South Wales, the former Labor foreign minister of this country, and someone who would have liked to have negotiated the deal that we have actually done, but at least he has the magnanimity to call it for Australia rather than play sordid politics with our country and its future. Let me quote what Professor the Hon. Bob Carr had to say in response to the member who asked the question: ‘Under the China FTA, the skill level of 457 visa applicants from China will be assessed in exactly the same way as those from 150 other countries around the world. If a 457 visa is granted, a worker from China will still need to meet any licensing and registration requirements at the federal or state level, including passing any tests or skills assessment.’ Mr Conroy interjecting— The SPEAKER: The member for Charlton is warned. Mr ABBOTT: I say again to all members of this House, particularly members opposite who have been spreading racist lies about this agreement: stop and act in Australia’s interests, just the once. Mr Perrett: Mr Speaker, I rise— The SPEAKER: The member for Moreton will resume his seat. Prime Minister, it is within order to refer to organisations or documents, but I would urge you not to refer to those opposite, because there is a long history in the Practice of that being unparliamentary. The Last Sentry at the Gate: Clive Palmer & the 44th Parliament of Australia 153


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