The Hon. J. HATZISTERGOS: My question without notice is addressed to the Treasurer, and Minister for State Development.
The PRESIDENT: Order! I call the Deputy Leader of the Opposition to order. I call the Deputy Leader of the Opposition to order for the second time.
The Hon. J. HATZISTERGOS: Will the Treasurer provide the House with details of what the Government is doing to promote trade between New South Wales and India?
The Hon. M. R. EGAN: I thank the Hon. J. Hatzistergos for his question. In answering it, I welcome Mr Chris Hartcher and Ms Peta Seaton to the Chamber. We are always pleased to see in this Chamber members from the other place. Their presence reminds me of the days when we used to see Ron Phillips and Michael Photios hovering around, consulting with the Leader of the Opposition, because there was a leadership challenge on the way.
The Hon. M. J. Gallacher: There's one for you, mate—he's called Michael Costa. He's on his way.
The Hon. M. R. EGAN: I know; I am nominating him. I am looking forward to Michael Costa becoming a member of this place. Can you imagine Michael Costa with this lot? Michael Costa does not yet understand the sort of halfwits we have on the Opposition benches.
The Hon. M. J. Gallacher: You don't understand what's happening to you. You don't even know it.
The Hon. M. R. EGAN: Don't let Chris Hartcher and Peta Seaton scurry off. At the very mention of their names, they are out of here.
The Hon. Dr B. P. V. Pezzutti: Bring on Kostya Tszyu; he is much better than this Michael Costa.
The Hon. M. R. EGAN: Kostya Tszyu is a boxer, silly.
The Hon. Dr B. P. V. Pezzutti: I know.
The Hon. M. R. EGAN: Unless he is a member of the Liberal Party, I do not think he is planning to come into the Parliament. We are talking about Michael Costa.
The Hon. Patricia Forsythe: The next Treasurer?
The Hon. M. R. EGAN: In all likelihood, he will be. I tell you what, he will be in this place and he will be the Treasurer of this State long after members of the Opposition have gone.
The Hon. D. T. Harwin: So you've done a deal?
The Hon. M. R. EGAN: I am always doing deals. I do fabulous deals with people. I did a deal with my colleague the Special Minister of State, who is going to become the leader after I go in 2016, aren't you?
The Hon. J. J. Della Bosca: Oh, yes.
The Hon. M. R. EGAN: You are not very enthusiastic about it. In response to the question asked by the Hon. J. Hatzistergos, I am pleased to inform the House—
The Hon. D. J. Gay: He won't be a Minister.
The PRESIDENT: I call the Leader of the Opposition to order.
The Hon. M. R. EGAN: The Leader of the Opposition would be doing very well if he had the chances of becoming a Minister that the Hon. J. Hatzistergos has. I am pleased to inform the House that India is a billion-dollar market for Australian exports, and it is a growing market. India is the seventeenth largest trading partner of New South Wales, with bilateral trade reaching more than $523 million during 1999-2000. Australia's total merchandise exports to India last year amounted to $1.58 billion, which is a remarkable figure. Exports from New South Wales covered a wide range of goods and services, including textile fibres, coal, metalliferous ores and metal scrap, non-ferrous metals, and iron and steel. India is one of the growing international markets targeted by the Department of State and Regional Development's Trade Mission and Market Visit program, which is designed to introduce export-ready New South Wales firms to the many opportunities that the Indian market has to offer.
The department has just conducted its first official trade mission to India, led by my colleague the Minister for Small Business, Ms Sandra Nori. This trade mission comprised a mix of companies looking to promote specialty chemicals, electrical instrumentation, low-cost housing, and education and research services. In a manufacturing joint venture between the New South Wales Australian Technology Showcase company Premiers Fosters and India's Mona Hotels, a new factory was opened in Pune, one of the regions of India. This factory represents a new industry for India and will manufacture a product called Gasfuse. The Gasfuse is a device which visually signals gas leaks and automatically shuts off significant gas leaks, thereby ensuring the safety of domestic users of LPG systems in India. The Gasfuse device also reduces environmentally damaging hydrocarbon emissions.
I am happy to report that my department's trade development activities in the Indian market will continue. All mission members have reported that their mission objectives have been achieved. Participants expect that the projects identified on this mission will continue into 2002-03, with total sales over the next 24-month period potentially worth more than $80 million. The New South Wales Government is working hard to help small to medium enterprises gain access to international markets. These trade missions and market visits are proving a successful mechanism for New South Wales companies wanting to enter growing markets such as India. Trade missions and market visits will continue to be a key feature of the department's export assistance for New South Wales companies wanting to enter this and other growing markets, and are a major plank in the Government's post-Olympics jobs strategy for New South Wales business.