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senate vote 2018-10-17#2

Edited by mackay

on 2019-02-01 09:28:52

Title

Description

  • The majority voted against an [amendment](https://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/search/display/display.w3p;query=Id:legislation/billhome/display.w3p;query=Id%3A%22legislation%2Famend%2Fr6165_amend_cfb330f7-2aba-4c8c-8add-68a02859706d%22;rec=0) introduced by Senator [Sarah Hanson-Young](https://theyvoteforyou.org.au/people/senate/sa/sarah_hanson-young), which means it failed.
  • Senator Hanson-Young explained her amendment:
  • Senator Hanson-Young [explained her amendment](https://www.openaustralia.org.au/senate/?gid=2018-10-17.81.1):
  • > *this amendment ensures that any need for funds to fight an [ISDS clause](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Investor-state_dispute_settlement) would have to come before the parliament. It also ensures that there is proper transparency around how taxpayer funds are being spent in defending our sovereignty and our laws and regulations against multinationals. Given we now have a TPP agreement with locked-in ISDS provisions, it is absolutely essential that the Australian people know what this is costing us and what the impact is, and that transparency prevails. This is about ensuring that the government can't paper over what they've just agreed to; that the Labor Party, either in opposition or in government, can't pretend that this isn't having a chilling effect; and that taxpayer money being spent on it is accounted for, and sunlight is shone in places where, we know, both sides of this place would prefer it not to be.*
  • ### What do these bills do?
  • The [bill](https://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/search/display/display.w3p;query=Id:legislation/billhome/r6165) was introduced along with [another](https://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/search/display/display.w3p;query=Id:legislation/billhome/r6166) to implement the [Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comprehensive_and_Progressive_Agreement_for_Trans-Pacific_Partnership) (TPP-11). Their basic purpose is to implement the customs dimensions of the TPP-11 Agreement by making relevant amendments to the Customs Act 1901 and the Customs Tariff Act 1995. Read more in the [bills digest](https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/bd/bd1819a/19bd031).
  • ### Amendment text
  • > *(1) Clause 2, page 2 (cell at table item 2, column 2), omit the cell, substitute:*
  • >> *If the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, done at Santiago, Chile on 8 March 2018, enters into force for Australia —the first day that another Act is in force that includes provisions with the effect that Australia must not defend an action brought against Australia under an investor-state dispute settlement provision of any treaty unless the Parliament has agreed to the defence.*
  • >> *However, the provisions do not commence at all unless all of the events mentioned in this item occur.*
  • >> *However, the provisions do not commence at all unless all of the events mentioned in this item occur.*
senate vote 2018-10-17#2

Edited by mackay

on 2019-02-01 09:27:11

Title

  • Bills — Customs Amendment (Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation) Bill 2018, Customs Tariff Amendment (Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation) Bill 2018; in Committee
  • Customs Amendment (Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation) Bill 2018 - in Committee - Transparency of funds

Description

  • <p class="speaker">Sarah Hanson-Young</p>
  • <p>In respect of the Customs Amendment (Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation) Bill 2018, I move Greens amendment (1) on sheet 8530:</p>
  • <p class="italic">(1) Clause 2, page 2 (cell at table item 2, column 2), omit the cell, substitute:</p>
  • The majority voted against an [amendment](https://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/search/display/display.w3p;query=Id:legislation/billhome/display.w3p;query=Id%3A%22legislation%2Famend%2Fr6165_amend_cfb330f7-2aba-4c8c-8add-68a02859706d%22;rec=0) introduced by Senator [Sarah Hanson-Young](https://theyvoteforyou.org.au/people/senate/sa/sarah_hanson-young), which means it failed.
  • Senator Hanson-Young explained her amendment:
  • > *this amendment ensures that any need for funds to fight an [ISDS clause](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Investor-state_dispute_settlement) would have to come before the parliament. It also ensures that there is proper transparency around how taxpayer funds are being spent in defending our sovereignty and our laws and regulations against multinationals. Given we now have a TPP agreement with locked-in ISDS provisions, it is absolutely essential that the Australian people know what this is costing us and what the impact is, and that transparency prevails. This is about ensuring that the government can't paper over what they've just agreed to; that the Labor Party, either in opposition or in government, can't pretend that this isn't having a chilling effect; and that taxpayer money being spent on it is accounted for, and sunlight is shone in places where, we know, both sides of this place would prefer it not to be.*
  • ### What do these bills do?
  • The [bill](https://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/search/display/display.w3p;query=Id:legislation/billhome/r6165) was introduced along with [another](https://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/search/display/display.w3p;query=Id:legislation/billhome/r6166) to implement the [Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comprehensive_and_Progressive_Agreement_for_Trans-Pacific_Partnership) (TPP-11). Their basic purpose is to implement the customs dimensions of the TPP-11 Agreement by making relevant amendments to the Customs Act 1901 and the Customs Tariff Act 1995. Read more in the [bills digest](https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/bd/bd1819a/19bd031).
  • ### Amendment text
  • > *(1) Clause 2, page 2 (cell at table item 2, column 2), omit the cell, substitute:*
  • >> *If the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, done at Santiago, Chile on 8 March 2018, enters into force for Australia —the first day that another Act is in force that includes provisions with the effect that Australia must not defend an action brought against Australia under an investor-state dispute settlement provision of any treaty unless the Parliament has agreed to the defence.*
  • >> *However, the provisions do not commence at all unless all of the events mentioned in this item occur.*
  • <p class="italic"> <i>[commencement]</i></p>
  • <p>Given the failure, sadly, of the amendment just now because the Labor Party refused to be an opposition and voted with the government to tick through the TPP&#8212;despite the fact that that amendment was simply instating the Labor Party's own policies; take that as you will&#8212;this amendment ensures that any need for funds to fight an ISDS clause would have to come before the parliament. It also ensures that there is proper transparency around how taxpayer funds are being spent in defending our sovereignty and our laws and regulations against multinationals. Given we now have a TPP agreement with locked-in ISDS provisions, it is absolutely essential that the Australian people know what this is costing us and what the impact is, and that transparency prevails. This is about ensuring that the government can't paper over what they've just agreed to; that the Labor Party, either in opposition or in government, can't pretend that this isn't having a chilling effect; and that taxpayer money being spent on it is accounted for, and sunlight is shone in places where, we know, both sides of this place would prefer it not to be.</p>
  • <p>While I've been on my feet speaking, it has been just fascinating to see the minister in negotiations with the Labor Party. It just proves what a cuddly, convenient relationship we have now between the two parties in this place, with the Labor Party and the coalition selling out Australian democracy: selling out the rights of the Australian people to have laws and regulations that protect their health, protect the environment and look after their best interests. Meanwhile, Labor and the coalition are passing legislation that puts the interests of big multinational companies first. That's what they're more interested in doing. How can they shut down debate today? How can they make sure that power remains with the big corporates rather than with the Australian people?</p>
  • <p>I urge all in this place to support this amendment now that the Labor Party have rolled over with the government to lock in these provisions which would allow multinational companies to sue the Australian people over regulations and laws that perhaps the public want because they know they are in their best interests. At the very least, the government of the day needs to be transparent about how much this is going to cost and what is on foot. It's a transparency measure. There should be nothing to be afraid of. But, of course, the proof will be in the pudding. We'll see the Labor Party and the coalition vote it down because they don't want the public to know just how bad this TPP deal really is.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Peter Whish-Wilson</p>
  • <p>I want to reflect on the comments that were made previously by Senator Hanson, who raised a very good point. In these trade debates, if you like to call them debates&#8212;in the spin around promoting free trade deals, which has happened since Mr Tony Abbot was elected in 2013 and we've seen an avalanche of bilateral trade deals; bilateral trade deals being trade deals between two countries&#8212;it is fascinating how the government will line up. They come in here at question time and quote their numbers&#8212;and Senator Carr has just done it in his statement to the chamber&#8212;about all the benefits that our exporters are going to receive when foreign countries allow increased access to their markets. But never in the debate do we talk about the costs of free trade deals. There are costs. Every economist acknowledges it. Those costs need to be weighed up in the debate, in the matter of public interest, against the benefits. That's how we assess whether a trade deal, or a trade investment deal like the TPP, is in our national interest.</p>
  • <p>It's fundamentally dishonest that we never talk about the impacts of these deals on our local producers, on our local manufacturers and on our local farmers. I can tell you that campaigns such as 'buy Australian', 'buy Australian beef' and 'buy Australian seafood' have triggered state-to-state dispute settlements in previous trade deals like NAFTA, where US beef and Canadian beef&#8212;pardon the pun&#8212;had a major beef over a 'buy local' campaign. These trade deals make it extremely difficult for us to support local businesses or for governments to subsidise or provide assistance to local businesses and local industries. That's why we saw the loss of tens of thousands of Australian car workers. It has mainly been a slow decline, but it has been very rapid in the last five years as this Liberal government has signed an avalanche of free trade deals&#8212;mostly to get a headline and a press opportunity. I haven't seen any evidence that these deals have benefited our local exporters, but I can tell you that I hear all the time about how difficult it is for local farmers, producers and manufacturers to compete with cheap foreign products. That is what Senator Hanson asked. What access are we giving away and selling down the river? Who are we selling down the river?</p>
  • <p>You may remember that the Korean free trade deal was called by the media, very cynically, 'the cars for cows deal'. In other words, we sold out our car industry to get increased access for our beef farmers. Let's just look at that example. If that's true, and I believe it was the case, who makes that decision? Who is the high, almighty arbiter of the fact that we are going to kill the car industry, its intellectual property and the decades of communities and workers who have grown up in those communities, as well as the ability to make our own cars and all the other ramifications that go with that? Who makes the decision that we sell out an entire industry and that we will trade that off against increased access for our beef farmers?</p>
  • <p>When you deal with bilateral deals, any economist will tell you that any simple input-output model, or any other economic model, can't accurately predict the benefits of those deals. That's because you end up stealing trade off other countries who you don't have bilateral deals with. I'm not going to give everyone in here a lecture on economics, but that's why, in theory, multilateral deals&#8212;like the deals we saw through the WTO, which fell apart after the Doha rounds&#8212;are the only kinds of deals that do bring net economic benefits. These bilateral deals and these multilateral deals don't. It is a really important point when we're about to vote very soon on this massive sellout of Australian interests&#8212;and for what? We need to consider the costs. They need to be properly quantified. No-one wants to talk about it in the public debate. It's absolutely our role here in the Senate to bring balance to this debate and to raise these issues with you, Assistant Minister.</p>
  • <p>I had a couple of quick questions for you in relation to the environmental chapter. It was welcome when the environment chapter in the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement was negotiated. The environment chapter is chapter 20. There's a section in there that relates to the protection of cetaceans. I just wanted to ask you, given the importance of protecting cetaceans under Australian law, what ability we will have in the use of the TPP&#8212;presuming it's going to be ratified by this parliament very soon&#8212;and how that chapter will enable us to stop Japanese whaling in the Southern Ocean, considering Japan has been the leader of this TPP-11 that we have before us here today. When the US pulled out, it was the Japanese Prime Minister, Prime Minister Abe, who reignited and reinvigorated the push for the TPP-11.</p>
  • <p>We saw, just a week or two ago, that the Japanese government was threatening to pull out of the International Whaling Commission, a rules based order around whaling that Australia showed leadership in over 35 years ago by banning commercial whaling. How will we be able to use this environment chapter in the TPP to hold the Japanese government to account if they go down to our Southern Ocean and start slaughtering whales on an industrial, commercial scale? That is what their stated intention is. I'd like to know how we can actually use this chapter to stop that from happening.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Linda Reynolds</p>
  • <p>I think I've just discovered why some of these questions are coming from my Greens colleagues. You said that this will be ratified shortly. This is actually a treaty that was ratified back in March of this year, and these are two customs enabling bills. You just said it hasn't been ratified yet. Well, it has been ratified. That might perhaps explain the misdirected nature of some of these questions. Again, as you acknowledged, this is in chapter 20 of the treaty. You obviously have a copy of the treaty and of that chapter. These questions have absolutely no direct relevance to these two customs bills at all. So perhaps, Chair, I might ask, in that case, if I could just get your opinion of whether these questions are in order, because they relate to a treaty that was ratified in March of this year. We have now spent nearly 10 hours on debate in this chamber on the same questions over and over again&#8212;on questions which actually relate to a treaty that has been ratified and which are not relevant to the bills here today. Chair, if I could ask for your guidance.</p>
  • <p>The CHAIR: It is a broad-ranging debate. The senator was asking for your view on the impact of that treaty on a free trade agreement, and I believe that you've answered that question.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Peter Whish-Wilson</p>
  • <p>I would say they're trying to distract away from that question. This is chapter 20. I won't say you deliberately misled the chamber then, Minister, but what we're doing today is ratifying this in parliament. You've signed this deal. Your executive has ratified it, but parliament hasn't ratified it yet. That's exactly why we're here today. That's what I would say a vote on the legislation is. But it's an attempt to actually distract away from the critical issue about which I asked you, which, by the way, is a question that hasn't been answered. And I'm sure you'd expect me, as a Greens senator, to be asking this question.</p>
  • <p>This environmental chapter was put in the TPP to try to bring civil society on board with the TPP. I've been following it long enough to know that's the case. It was designed to bring in environment groups, as were the other chapters in there around slave labour and wildlife trade. There's a whole array of stuff in here. As I mentioned earlier, it covers just about every aspect of life in every country that's signing up to this, and it is part of what we are ratifying as a parliament. You are giving effect to the customs and tariff side of this. That's what actually makes this treaty come into effect. But it is all the same. So this is absolutely critical, and I ask you again: is there a binding clause in here? Is it the purpose of this environmental chapter that Australia can take action against the Japanese government if they go down into the Southern Ocean this summer or next summer and resume commercial whaling, which has been banned for over 35 years? Will this actually allow us, as a country, within our relationship in the TPP-11, to take action against the Japanese government?</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Linda Reynolds</p>
  • <p>Senator Whish-Wilson, we are again well and truly foraying into the world of the hypothetical.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Peter Whish-Wilson</p>
  • <p>What's it in there for then?</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Linda Reynolds</p>
  • <p>Senator Whish-Wilson, if you're going to ask me a question, please allow me to answer the question. Again, I'll provide the same answers that I've provided over probably seven hours of questioning on the same issues. This is a treaty that has been signed. We are now dealing, before this chamber, with the customs bills to fully enable our agreements. In relation to the issues in chapter 20 that you're talking about&#8212;the environmental considerations&#8212;the parliament has had ample opportunity to debate this. Over the course of the last two years, the provisions of the TPP have been debated, and I've gone through the various inquiries in this chamber already. I think there have been at least five parliamentary inquiries. There have been over a thousand consultations with 485 separate organisations, which is incredibly comprehensive. It is the most comprehensive engagement and parliamentary debate on any treaty that Australia has ever been party to.</p>
  • <p>We've already dealt with a range of these issues over and over again in over seven hours of debate in this place. You and I both know that the questions you just asked are far more appropriate for next week's Senate estimates process. But, again, go back and have a look at your own remarks in <i>Hansard</i>, Senator Whish-Wilson. You have already acknowledged that you have raised these issues in multiple estimates committees over multiple years, so it's not like you and the Greens have not had ample opportunity to get engaged and involved and to debate these issues. You have. We can sit here for the next several hours&#8212;I think it's taken 10 hours of the Senate's time already&#8212;and it's your right to keep us talking about the same things over and over again, but, ultimately, you are reprosecuting a treaty that was signed in March. These are customs amendment and customs tariff amendment bills. There is nothing that I have not repeated over and over again. If you keep asking the same questions, I will keep giving you the same answers, because the answers do not change, even if you do not like them.</p>
  • <p class='motion-notice motion-notice-truncated'>Long debate text truncated.</p>