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Tuesday, 13 October 2015
Page: 7467

Senator WHISH-WILSON (Tasmania) (16:00): I seek leave to make a very short statement.

The PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for one minute.

Senator WHISH-WILSON: 'Transparency is in our genes.' Those are the exact words the Productivity Commission used at Senate estimates when I asked them about trade deals. They have long been critics of aspects of our trade deals, particularly the secrecy and the flawed process that go towards our trade and treaty negotiations. I wrote to the new Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, last week asking that he send the Trans-Pacific Partnership text to the Productivity Commission. He wanted to do the same thing for the NBN when he was shadow minister. He wanted the Productivity Commission to independently assess it. There is no reason for the secrecy around the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement to remain. We as a parliament should get to see it; the Australian people should see it, and the Productivity Commission should independently assess it. I ask all senators to be reasonable today and to send the text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement to the Productivity Commission. I thank Senator Xenophon for organising this today.

The PRESIDENT: The question is that the motion moved by Senator Xenophon be agreed to.