Senate debates

Tuesday, 21 August 2012


Criminal Code Amendment (Cluster Munitions Prohibition) Bill 2010; In Committee

1:38 pm

Photo of Scott LudlamScott Ludlam (WA, Australian Greens) Share this | Hansard source

So I can invest in a shell company that does not manufacture cluster weapons but owns entities that do, and the minister somehow wants us to believe that that is in keeping with the spirit of the convention? It is not—it is just not. I am not sure that there is any value either in asking anybody who might still be listening to this debate to pursue this any further, because I think that on the key question the minister has been unable to comfort us—that I can invest in a company that has nothing to do with cluster munitions apart from the fact that it owns a subsidiary entity that does manufacture them, but that will not be in breach of this bill. Why even bother having investment criteria in here? As ACSI pointed out—and these are the people in the industry who know exactly how this game works—the bill as drafted has no practical effect because we do not invest in companies that directly manufacture these weapons, we are investing in the entities that own them as subsidiaries. On that, this bill is silent.

Unless the minister has anything to add, my take away from this debate is that the provisions as drafted will have no practical effect at all. That is certainly what the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors believe. The minister has given us no evidence this afternoon that they are incorrect. If the minister has had nothing further to say, that is fine—I will let the chair put the question to the chamber.


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