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Australian democracy - first casualty of TPP

Media Release
Lee Rhiannon 6 Oct 2015

NSW Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon has voiced grave concerns about the Trans Pacific Partnership deal, negotiated behind closed doors, as it threatens our government’s capacity to legislate in the interests of the Australian public.

“Australian democracy is one of the first casualties of the TPP,” Senator Rhiannon said. 

“It is outrageous to prevent the public and parliament from viewing the TPP, which will radically transform our economy, and constrain our sovereignty over critically important issues.

“If the Labor Party works with the Liberal-National government to seal the TPP deal, they will be signing away our rights to make laws first and foremost in the public interest. 

“The TPP is about company profits trumping community needs, expanding the powers of transnational investors and restricting the regulatory role of our government. 

“The infamous Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) clauses, which allow multinationals to sue governments, will dangerously dilute protections for consumers, workers and the environment.  

 “DFAT continues to inaccurately claim that Australia’s involvement in the TPP was decided upon after extensive public consultation. However a survey last year revealed only 11% of Australians had heard of the TPP. 

“We should not have to rely on leaks to interrogate a trade pact which will affect our economy, rights and environmental, labour and workers’ standards so profoundly.

 “The Greens believe that government legislation should be transparently and democratically decided, not governed by the aspirations of multinational corporations motivated by profit. 

“If the Labor Party decides to endorse the TPP, it will no longer be able to claim in good conscience that it is truly advocating on behalf of Australians. They will have flunked the fundamental test of participatory democracy. 

“The Greens will continue to challenge the corporate agenda at the heart of the TPP, and to oppose any legislation shrouded in secrecy and that runs counter to democratic governance,” Senator Rhiannon said.

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