On Being Heard

From the conclusions to the JSCT FTA report:

18.6 The evidence received by the Committee can be divided into three groups: There were those who supported the Agreement and proposed that Australia ratify the AUSFTA; There were those who opposed the Agreement and proposed that Australia not ratify and then there was a third group who highlighted potential problems with particular Chapters without expressing an opinion on whether Australia should ratify.

18.7 Having determined that ratification is in Australia’s national interest, the approach the Committee has taken to address the concerns of this third group has been to make a number of recommendations which it believes are consistent with the spirit and text of the Agreement.

In other news, the two page “Dissenting Report” (which seconds all the recommendations of the main report except actual ratification, which it considers to still be premature) was only signed by the Labor party committee members; Senator Bartlett doesn’t seem to have taken the opportunity to explain or even note the Australian Democrats’ opposition. Odd.

On the upside: bipartisan political support for fair use and opposition to region coding!

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