14 Nov 2013 | Senator Scott Ludlam & Senator Peter Whish-Wilson
Delivering free trade deals are a top priority for the Abbott government and the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) currently being negotiated is the biggest free trade deal in this country's history, impacting all walks of Australian life. The Australian Greens stated it is likely to also turn into this government's biggest headache.
With today's damning leak of a secret trade deal document by the WikiLeaks publishing organisation the Australian Greens have given notice that they will move a motion in the Senate, when it next sits on December 2nd, to end the secrecy around the TPPA trade talks.
"The TPPA text still forces internet providers to police Australian internet users and enables the US to place us under surveillance, justified as a US-led crackdown on internet piracy," said Senator Scott Ludlam.
"We have one piece of the TPPA puzzle, and it is chilling," said Senator Peter Whish-Wilson. "The Greens will move for the rest of the document to be made public to the Parliament and the Australian people, before the Government signs up to something we will regret."
"It's clear this secret deal, driven by foreign interests to benefit some of the largest multinationals, will still censor internet content, impose harsh criminal penalties for non-commercial copyright infringements, and force Australian internet service providers to police users and hand information over to law enforcement," Senator Ludlam said.
"The current TPPA text also entrenches the disadvantages Australians experience in being ripped off with unfair IT pricing."
"With the Abbott Government suggesting they will consider Investor-state Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provisions in the TPPA this secret deal is a threat to Australia's public interest laws that protect our environment, farming communities, and living standards and underpin public health," Senator Whish Wilson said.
"This leaked chapter reveals that changes to patent law are on the table giving pharmaceutical companies broader monopoly over patent rights delaying the availability of cheaper generic medicines.
"Tony Abbott is about to trade away access to affordable medications and put at risk our Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme - a cost-of-living attack on every Australian.
"The TPPA draft texts must be released so the entire Australian community can have input prior to any final copy being ratified by parliament.
"The Australian Greens have acted and will move an Order of Production of the TPPA text to the Senate on the next sitting day, December 2nd.
"Tony Abbott must end the secrecy and hidden agendas that have defined his Government," concluded Senator Whish-Wilson.
The community can support a petition calling for the TPPA text to be made public here -http://grns.mp/make-TPPA-text-public
NOTICE OF MOTION
13 November 2013
I give notice that on Monday, December 2nd, 2013 I shall move that –
(1) there be laid on the table by December 5th, 2013 by the Minister representing the Minister for Trade and Investment the current draft text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) plurilateral free trade agreement.
(2) any revisions to draft texts of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) plurilateral free trade agreement be laid on the table by the Minister representing the Minister for Trade and Investment within five days of the revision.
(3) the final text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) plurilateral free trade agreement be laid on the table by the Minister representing the Minister for Trade and Investment within five days of the conclusion of negotiation.
Senator Peter Whish-Wilson