22 April 2021

Tim Quilty welcomes scrapping of Belt and Road Initiative deal with Chinese government

Liberal Democrats Member for Northern Victoria Tim Quilty has welcomed the scrapping of the Victorian Government’s Belt and Road Initiative agreement with the Chinese government.

Mr Quilty and his colleague David Limbrick, Member for South East Melbourne, have long condemned the deal.

“Primary producers have seen for themselves that this agreement was not worth the paper it was printed on,” Mr Quilty said.

“In the meantime, they are getting on with finding new markets which will make their businesses more resilient in future.

“If China doesn’t want the best quality primary produce from Australia at the best price they will only hurt themselves. Meanwhile, primary producers in northern Victoria have proven themselves to be extremely adaptable and are just getting on with business.

“The only thing the Chinese Government has achieved is to damage their credibility in international trade and erode their country’s reputation as a dependable export destination.”

Mr Limbrick said that while he supports trade deals, the Belt and Road Initiative was insubstantial.

“We support agreements that enhance free trade between countries, but if you look carefully at this agreement, there was never anything of substance in it anyway - it was mainly symbolic,” Mr Limbrick said.

“I strongly doubt anyone will be affected by its removal.

“This is already evident because the agreement never protected Victorians from trade bans or helped us access their markets.”