Senate debates

Monday, 15 October 2018


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

9:33 pm

Photo of Rex PatrickRex Patrick (SA, Centre Alliance) Share this | Hansard source

I move:

(1) Clause 2, page 2 (cell at table item 2, column 2), omit the cell, substitute:


The objective of this amendment is to prevent the enabling legislation commencing until bilateral side letters have been exchanged between Australia and each other party to the agreement, agreeing, firstly, that chapter 9 of the agreement, which deals with investor-state disputes, does not apply in relation to an investment in Australia, and, secondly, that labour market testing must occur in relation to contractual service suppliers entering, or proposing to enter, Australia from the other party. Centre Alliance is of the view that these issues need to be addressed before the TPP comes into force, not after.

I urge Labor to support this amendment. After all, it's your policy. Your private member's bill is a fraud to your union colleagues and your constituents. It will go nowhere. You arrogantly presume that you will be successful at the next election. Even if you are, it is unlikely that you will change the agreement ex post facto. You will talk about it. You'll be captured by the bureaucrats. They will tell you that it's not possible, and it simply won't happen.

If you are not successful at the next election you will almost certainly regret not supporting Centre Alliance's amendments tonight. As the saying goes: never put off to tomorrow what you can do today. In the event that Labor, as a party, does not support Centre Alliance's amendments I invite Labor senators to cross the floor in support of their own conviction. You can do so with the safety that you will be protected by the fact that you are supporting the Labor Party national platform. I urge you to support this amendment.


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