Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has called upon the Federal Government to resolve escalating tensions with China that have impacted Australian beef exports.
The Premier's concerns arise from a growing trade dispute between China and Australia which has seen the former blacklist three Queensland red meat abattoirs.
The Queensland abattoirs in question are Kilcoy Pastoral Company (owned by Chinese company New Hope Investment), JBS-owned Beef City and Dinmore. JBS is one of the largest meat processing companies in the world and is based in Brazil.
The Australian-owned Northern Cooperative Meat Company in Casino, New South Wales, has also been blacklisted.
Speaking to the press this morning Palaszczuk said she has concerns that a trade war could result in 3,200 workers being impacted.
"China is an incredibly important trading partner to Queensland," Palaszczuk said.
"Most of our trade goes to China.
"What I'm really concerned about is this potential for a trade war to erupt and to damage Queensland's exports, to damage Queensland's reputation and to damage Queensland's jobs and livelihoods."
Palaszczuk says beef is a cornerstone element of the Queensland economy, generating $4.89 billion in exports and generating over 18,000 jobs.
The Queensland Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner put it quite simply: "We don't need another beef with China".
"It was only around about this time last year I was in Hong Kong and Chongqing with a trade delegation, delivering the beautiful beef that Queensland is able to provide. In that territory of Chongqing there's an insatiable appetite for our beef, so that's why this issue is so important to Queensland," said Furner.
"I call on the Federal Government to resolve this as soon as possible, because it is such an important trade matter for Queensland and for our Queensland farmers as well."
As reported by the ABC yesterday Federal Trade Minister Simon Birmingham said the emerging trade dispute was a technical issue and not did not relate to the pressure Australia is placing on China to approve an independent investigation into the origins of COVID-19.
Queensland reports just one new case of COVID-19
Just one new confirmed case of COVID-19 has been recorded in Queensland today, bringing the state's total to 1,052 cases including 18 active cases.
Premier Palaszczuk said the one new case was an "old" case.
Elsewhere in Australia New South Wales has reported six new cases today, and Victoria has reported seven.
In total there have been 6,980 confirmed cases of COVID-19 of which 6,273 have recovered.
Updated at 11:27am AEST on 13 May 2020.
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