DEPUTY Prime Minister and infrastructure minister Michael McCormack says an effective regional supply chain is critical in order for Australia to take full advantage of Asian trade deals.

“We have been able to broker, as a government, free trade agreements with South Korea, with Japan, with China and more recently our northern neighbour Indonesia, to enable our goods to go into those markets,” he said.

“That also places additional pressures as well as additional opportunities for our regions.

“What we need to do is address the freight supply chain task. We know the supply chain demands are going to double in the next 10 years.”


Mr McCormack, who was competing against a roaring wind off Western Port Bay, spoke about the significance of the Trans-Pacific Partnership 11 agreement that “delivers us a free trade opportunity of around $13trillion”.

“The naysayers said it couldn’t be done but we achieved it,” he said.

“Our next take is that we capitalise on all those business opportunities.”

Mr McCormack also spoke of the importance of taking a bipartisan approach to transport and infrastructure issues.