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Thursday, 13 September 2018
Page: 10


Senator REYNOLDS (Western AustraliaAssistant Minister for Home Affairs) (10:35): That is another very good question that goes to the heart of some of the matters that have been raised here in this chamber. Pacific Islands countries don't lose their ability to regulate as a result of PACER Plus. One of the most important points here is that this is still respectful of all nations' sovereignty. PACER Plus does not compel parties to give up their regulatory powers and parties are able to introduce new regulations or amend existing regulations.

The commitment of PACER Plus to preserve the right of parties to regulate is highlighted clearly in the preamble to the agreement, which I'll share with the chamber. The preamble says this:

Recognising their right to regulate and their resolve to preserve the flexibility of the Parties to set legislative and regulatory priorities, safeguard public welfare, and protect legitimate public welfare objectives, such as public health, safety, the environment—

I'm sure the Greens would like to know that it does respect their sovereignty in relation to the environment—

the conservation of living or non-living exhaustible natural resources, the integrity and stability of the financial system and public morals;

So that clearly does indicate that the nations do not lose their ability to regulate as a result of this agreement.