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Tuesday, 10 August 2004
Page: 25985


Senator HILL (Minister for Defence) (1:45 PM) —This subject is covered by a further amendment of the Greens that has not yet been moved. One might hope that this would reduce the time needed for debate for that amendment when it is subsequently moved but, as it took 3½ hours to vote on the first amendment, that is probably wishful thinking. As I said, there is no investor-state dispute settlement mechanism in this agreement, and the mechanism to which Senator Brown refers would require implementation with the agreement of both states. That is the protection that has, from the Australian perspective, been in-built—that an action could not be brought by an investor unless the Australian government was prepared to agree to that action. It is difficult to imagine a circumstance in which that would occur.