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Wednesday, 11 August 2004
Page: 26121


Senator HILL (Minister for Defence) (12:16 PM) —That would obviously be up to the state parties. They have an interest in the joint committee that they establish working effectively. No doubt if they felt that its processes could be improved they would address the issue. Certainly the spirit of this particular article encourages transparency and openness. In fact, article 21.1.6 specifically recognises the importance of transparency and openness. That is the provision that talks about the value of seeking public input. Having said that, I am sure there will be many occasions when the confidential nature of the work that the joint committee is addressing will require it to not be an open deliberation; but, as I read this part of the agreement, there is certainly an emphasis on openness wherever that can be appropriately achieved.