ALP, Greens and independents co-host TPP forum amid strong community opposition
Media Release, February 3, 2016:
Fifty-nine community organisations representing more than two million Australians from all walks of life have endorsed a letter to parliamentarians asking for an independent review of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and its impact on Australians before Parliament votes on the TPP implementing legislation.
Representatives AFTINET, the ACTU, the Public Health Association and GetUp will speak at a forum co-hosted by ALP, Greens and Independent parliamentarians today, Wednesday February 3, 11.30 am, Room 101, Parliament House, Canberra.
GetUp and SumofUS will also present petitions signed by 306,760 Australians, showing strong community opposition to the TPP.
AFTINET Convener Dr Patricia Ranald said that the TPP signing ceremony to be held in Auckland on February 4 signalled the beginning of the TPP parliamentary process, which in the coming months must critically examine many dangerous details that are not about free trade.
“The TPP includes rights for foreign companies to sue our governments over future health, environment and other public interest laws,” said Dr Ranald. “We could be selling our sovereignty for little or no economic benefit, as shown by the recent World Bank study. In the absence of independent assessments, the implementing legislation should not be passed.”
Michael Moore, CEO of the Public Health Association of Australia said that the cost of the deal to public health could outweigh any economic benefits.
“The TPP could end up costing our PBS millions of dollars if monopoly rights on biologic medicines are extended. There must be an independent assessment of all public health impacts,” said Mr Moore.
ACTU President Ged Kearney said Australia had negotiated the worst deal for local jobs of the 12 TPP signatories.
“Despite promises, the TPP has no effective enforceable labour rights and will expand the use of frequently exploited temporary migrant workers without first testing for available local workers,” said Ms Kearney.
Daney Faddoul, Senior Campaigner from GetUp, said “Over three hundred thousand Australians have signed petitions saying ‘no’ to the TPP because they feel sold out by the terrifying deal made without their consent and without their knowledge."
SumOfUs Senior Campaigner Katherine Tu added "Our petitions show that there is a strong opposition from the community to the TPP, and members from GetUp and SumOfUs want to see our government reject this dangerous trade deal now."