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Tuesday, 10 August 2004
Page: 26046

Senator HILL (Minister for Defence) (6:06 PM) —I am reluctant to rise again because I was hoping that after six or seven hours we might actually get to vote on an amendment. I think we have had two votes so far. At this rate, the Greens' goal of the chamber never voting on this particular implementation bill might be achieved. As I would like to see the bill passed, that is not in my best interests. A different approach was taken in this trade agreement. I refer Senator Brown to article 19.6 `Environmental Cooperation', which provides:

The Parties recognise the importance of strengthening capacity to protect the environment and to promote sustainable development in concert with strengthening bilateral trade and investment relations ... The Parties agree to negotiate a United States-Australia Joint Statement on Environmental Cooperation under which the Parties will explore ways to further support these ongoing activities.

I understand that that statement was negotiated and was agreed to by the parties. It is a different way of approaching the issue but I think it demonstrates the good faith of both parties wanting to see not only trade expansion but trade expansion that is compatible with sound environmental outcomes.