Queensland’s premier should apologise to New Zealand’s trade minister and dump a “reckless” procurement policy, Federal Trade Minister Steve Ciobo says.
Mr Ciobo’s New Zealand counterpart Todd McClay has expressed his disappointment in Annastacia Palaszczuk’s “Buy Queensland” procurement policy announced at last weekend’s State Labor conference.
Under the policy, Queensland-based businesses would receive weightings of up to 30% in the consideration of government contracts.
Ms Palaszczuk added the policy could result in Queensland walking away from the Australia-New Zealand Government Procurement Agreement.
Mr McClay said he did not think one state abandoning the agreement was legally possible and it was also not how trade worked.
He said the policy could jeopardise the $5 billion in good and services exported from Queensland to New Zealand and the
20-30,000 jobs that trade creates.
Ms Palaszczuk responded yesterday that Mr McClay “hasn’t even read the policy” and stood by her government’s stance.
Mr Ciobo, who has already warned the policy will damage Queensland exporters, says Ms Palaszczuk’s attitude is rude and he was seeking legal advice about the controversial policy.
“For over 25 years this agreement has been important to give Queensland exporters the best possible opportunity,” Mr Ciobo said.
“This Queensland premier says she’s going to tear it up, walk away from it and also insults the New Zealand trade minister at the same time. This premier needs to apologise and she also needs to make sure she dumps this reckless policy.”
Mr Ciobo said he had written to Ms Palaszczuk to clarify her policy and was awaiting a response. NZN