MCA executive director – coal Greg Evans said delaying the deal could also give Indonesian exporters an “unexpected boost” while adding a new risk to employment in key regional communities in Australia.
The China Australia free trade deal had been expected to formally enter into force in November this year, following the completion of parliamentary processes by both countries.
Evans said the timetable was now at risk in the wake of a “scaremongering campaign” by the CFMEU, “raising the real prospect” of delays to the parliamentary approval of enabling legislation.
The CFMEU recently released research conducted in several marginal electorates in New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and South Australia which found the “overwhelming majority” of voters do not support the agreement when they become aware of three elements of the deal.
The CFMEU said the agreement allows:
- Chinese companies to bring in their own workers on projects worth more than $150 million, without first advertising for local qualified workers;
- Chinese companies to export goods to Australia without having to meet the same standards for protecting workers and the environment as Australian companies; and
- Chinese companies to sue future Australian governments if they pass laws that the company believes will have a negative impact on them.