Then please copy and send it to as many members of the Australian Parliament as possible!
Email addresses can be found here:
How to Address a Member of the House of Representatives:
Dear Sir or Dear Mr Danby/ or
Dear Madam or Dear Ms Marino
How to Address Senators:
Dear Senator Di Natale,
As you will know, the secret TransPacific Partnership (TPP) treaty is being finalized. I believe there needs to be extensive discussion about it in Parliament. There has been virtually no discussion of this treaty in the mainstream media, even though it is one of the most important treaties ever considered by Australia.
The core of the TPP is the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) system. Under this system a company can demand Australia remove any law or regulation which hinders its profits or we can be forced to pay "compensation" for keeping that law. The ISDS provisions of the treaty authorize supra-national tribunals independent of any other judicial system to settle such “disputes” between corporations and countries. These tribunals are in effect a private court system staffed by corporate lawyers paid by the multinational corporations who designed the TPP. Under the TPP, if a company believes an Australian law endangers its "expected future profits," it can take this "dispute" to their private investor-state tribunal. This tribunal has the power to overrule Australian laws or levy fines against the Australian government. There is no possibility to appeal the tribunal’s decision, and the system cannot be used by Australia to sue any multinational company. The ISDS is a legal one-way street.
The leaders of both the Liberal-National Coalition and the Labor Party support the TPP. Still you can take the initiative to examine this issue carefully to make up your own mind about the effect the TPP would have on Australia.
The extreme nature of the ISDS system can be illustrated by a story. Suppose you invited one of your friends over for dinner. When they arrive, you explain politely to you that you do not like people smoking in your house. A normal response would be for your guest to accept your "house rules" and come in for dinner. However suppose they said they were going to smoke during dinner. And, suppose they declared that if you continue to protest they will sue you in their private Court For Guests which allows guests to do whatever they want in a house, even if they are not invited.
Who ever heard of a private Court for Guests with no connection to any other legal system? How is this different from the ISDS system? Instead of insisting it is a privilege to be allowed to invest in Australia, the companies behind the TPP and the ISDS think it is their right to invest here and to do anything they want to maximize their profits. How can the leaders of any self-respecting country tolerate such an arrogant approach by foreign corporations?
The ISDS system will remove the power from the Australian Parliament to make laws which foreign corporations consider will diminish their profits. There are no provisions for consideration of the public interest in the ISDS system. There is no place for the normal democratic processes of elections and public advocacy. Quite simply, the TPP is a blank cheque drawn on the Australia's future. How the leaders of the two major parties can support the TPP says volumes about where their loyalties lie.
I would encourage you to look into the details of the TPP treaty and discuss this issue with other Senators and Members. Can you go back to your electors and say: "Yes, the TPP is really bad for Australia, but I didn't know how bad it was when I voted for it."? If the TPP is adopted, the members of Parliament will remove the reason for their existence, to draw up and pass legislation for Australia. Why should we vote for people who have no power to enact laws about anything important?