The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade will appear at the opening public hearing today for an Australian parliamentary inquiry looking at the merits of expanding the membership of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. The CPTPP agreement signed in 2018 is a trade bloc of 11 countries that includes Australia and is an export market of 500 million consumers worth nearly $14 trillion. The parliamentary inquiry will examine the scope for expanding the TPP beyond the existing membership of Australia, Canada, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, Vietnam, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Malaysia and Peru to include new members. Find out how to view the inquiry by video at http://www.aph.gov.au/jfadt
Chair of the Trade Sub-Committee of the Joint Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee, Ted O’Brien, welcomed the opportunity to investigate the process of how the current members of the CPTPP can agree on expanding the trade pact to include other economies, and understanding what the benefits of new members joining will be.
‘On the back of this week’s historical agreement to progress a FTA with the United Kingdom, between Prime Ministers Morrison and Johnson, it is timely to consider expanding the most comprehensive plurilateral trade agreement in existence, the CPTPP,’ Mr O’Brien said.
Update: Full Report now attached inside this article."[...]There is an insufficient amount of publicly available information about agreements under negotiation, and independently sourced economic analyses of their likely benefits are not mandatory. In relation to the TPP, this has fuelled media speculation on the content of the agreement when certainty based on fact is required. It is unsatisfactory for complex trade agreements, which are years in the making, to be negotiated in secret and subject to stakeholder and parliamentary scrutiny for a few short months with no realistic capacity for text to be changed, and then for implementation of the legislation to be rushed through parliament unamended. This comes very close to making a mockery of the process and of parliament's involvement." (Alex Gallacher, SA, Australian Labor Party, Senate debates, Thursday, 25 June 2015, Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee; Report )
The New Zealand Defence Force early in Janurary surprised a third unlicensed fishing boat, far south-east of Tasmania, illegally poaching toothfish - the ocean's "white gold". The New Zealand government so far has intercepted three ships with their offshore patrol ship, HMNZS Wellington, in cooperation with the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.
(image: head of Patagonian Toothfish)
This summer is Sea Shepherd’s 11th Southern Ocean Defence Campaign and the first to target toothfish fishing operators in the waters of Antarctica. Patagonian toothfish, a species of cod icefish, can grow up to 10 kilograms in weight and are a highly prized eating fish.
The government's repeal of the "carbon tax" won't make climate change go away! it’s a political decision, not one based on science, or a rational reaction to any new empirical evidence contrary to its existence.
Denial of climate science is one that’s based on the assumption that you can believe it or not! We don’t doubt the findings of other scientific results, or discoveries.
To be unemployed is to not have a job.
In the traditionally accepted sense, a real job is a permanent full-time job.
But government measures of unemployment have been watered down so much so that the unemployment rate excludes so many people in order to make the statistic portray the economy better than it really is. Governments get savagely criticised in the media for high unemployment rates because government is regarded by the people as an outcome of how the government is running the economy. So if the published unemployment rate is low, government economic performance looks good.
Unemployment Rate a misleading statistic designed to pacify.
Australia's June 2010 unemployment rate was officially 5.2%. What does that number mean?
It is calculated by dividing the number of CentreLink registered unemployed into the total labour workforce. So 5.2% is 603,400 registered unemployed divided by estimated labour workforce of 11,661,538. But the 603,400 is only those registered with CentreLink.
As Australians we pride ourselves with the presumption we live in a democracy, benefiting from the universally accepted principles of 'equality and freedom'.
We are supposed to have a "government of the people, by the people, for the people" [Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865], where our Constitution underscores basic personal and political rights, fair and free elections, and independent courts of law.
Every individual Australian and social group is supposed to have a guarantee of basic human rights. We are supposed to have a separation of powers between the institutions of the state - government [executive power], parliament [legislative power] and Courts of Law [judicative power].
We are supposed to have the freedom of opinion, speech, press and mass media, religious freedom, one person - one vote, and our governments are supposed to exercise good governance in public interest and free of corruption.
Failings of Representative Democracy
In Australia, we are denied direct democracy ('people power'). Why?
Is our political system intended to benefit of the dominant political parties and the interests of their corporate financiers, or the people of Australia?
Dear lovers of Planet Earth, animals, nature, peace and justice
An Injunction is being served on Repco Rally Australia tomorrow Thursday 2.15pm forcing Peter Garrett to call in their ecological survey for review. Please contact the Minister ASAP before then asking him to call in the rally.
There are 12 nationally listed threatened (endangered and vulnerable) fauna in the area and 34 migratory birds that have not been adequately assessed. These are species of national environmental significance that need to be reviewed. Factors such as the stress induced by 'mitigation measures' (low-flying helicopters, compressed air sirens and hand horns) will contribute to death of species from nest/fledgling abandonment. Stress myopathy deaths of macropods were not addressed. Barriers by creeks containing endangered Giant Barred Frogs will not contain the substantial dust and sediment generated by more than 100 rally vehicles going over 200kph along 350k of dirt roads every day for 4 days.