Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Wednesday, 11 August 2004
Page: 26120

Senator RIDGEWAY (12:12 PM) —I want to ask a specific question of the government, in relation to the broader question of review, about the appointment of people for the state-to-state dispute resolution mechanisms. I think the minister mentioned earlier in the debate that he thought the joint committee would be made up of government officials. Is the government considering the possibility of a measure that would look at how appointments are made in that particular case, whether criteria would be used and whether industry representatives would be involved in the process? Will there also be a review of the mechanism itself, of whether or not it is achieving what the negotiators and the government think it will achieve? We were told this morning that it is being applied in a flexible way, not in a predetermined way. Will the government explain how that will be reviewed as well so that the parliament at least has some oversight with respect to that issue? I think we have an obligation to review the consequences of the free trade agreement in relation to the workings of our own industry and certainly in relation to social, environmental and cultural policy, but there is also the question of the review of mechanisms in relation to the free trade agreement. I wonder whether the minister might respond.

Senator Conroy —Thank goodness you are back, Senator Hill.