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Wednesday, 11 February 2015
Page: 487


Senator WHISH-WILSON (Tasmania) (15:45): Mr President, I seek leave to make a short statement.

Leave is granted for one minute.

Senator WHISH-WILSON: We do not necessarily support the wording of this motion, but we do support the intent to actually get debate in this chamber and some transparency around what is the biggest trade deal in this country's history, totally negotiated in secret, behind closed doors, and pushed by special interests in both the US and other countries around this region. It is totally unacceptable to Australians in this country that a trade agreement that will change the laws in this country, that will impact on significant matters of public interest, is being negotiated behind closed doors by DFAT officials where only one or two senior ministers on this government's front bench know the details of this deal. This is a huge issue around the world. It is in the US, as it is in Europe. The European Parliament has recently voted to give the text to the public before it is signed. This will be signed by cabinet. Parliament will not be able to change it. You vote for or against it. It is simply unacceptable and the Australian public are starting to make their voice heard. (Time expired)

The PRESIDENT: The question now is that the motion moved by Senator Urquhart on behalf of Senator Wong be agreed to.