The text of the China FTA was tabled in Parliament on June 17, 2015, and has been reviewed by the Joint Standing Committee onTreaties which reported on October 19. See AFTINET submission here, and our analysis of the JSCOT report here. The Senate Foreign Affairs Defence and Trade Committee review will report in November.
Parliament will vote on the implementing legislation for the China FTA in November. There is strong public opposition because there are special arrangements for Chinese companies investing more than A$150 million to import many temporary workers without testing if local workers are available, and it will allow Chinese companies to sue the Australian government in international tribunals over changes in domestic legislation (ISDS).
October 14: The ALP proposed amendments to the Migration Act would provide some protections for the rights of both temporary workers and local workers and would apply to all trade agreements, including the China FTA and future agreements. AFTINET supports amendments to the Migration Act that would protect workers' rights. We still oppose the inclusion of ISDS and other aspects of the China FTA. See our latest briefing paper here.
October 21: following negotiations with the Government, the ALP announced that they had reached a compromise for changes to the regulations of the Migration Act, rather than the act itself. See the AFTINET analysis here. There is a continuing campaign of local public meetings in marginal electorates across the countryin October- November.