This evening the Greens voted against the enabling legislation for the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA), an agreement that exposes future Australian governments to being sued by Chinese corporations for introducing legislation that impacts on their profits, and an agreement that undermines Australian working conditions.
Greens spokesperson for Trade, Senator Whish-Wilson, “Today in the Senate, the Greens voted against exposing Australia to the risks of Investor-State Dispute-Settlement (ISDS) clauses in ChAFTA, while the Labor Party and the Liberal Party sat together to vote to bring ISDS to Australia.
“Over the weekend, the Greens members at their National Conference unanimously opposed these dangerous and undemocratic provisions in trade agreements and today the Greens parliamentarians reflected that view in the Senate Chamber.
“Labor party members passed a similar resolution at their recent National Conference but Labor parliamentarians turned their backs on the views of their members and voted with the Government to make ISDS a reality.
“The Greens are the only party willing to protect democracy from the corporate takeover that is ISDS. In the term of this Abbott/Turnbull Government, Labor has voted to make ISDS in both the Korean and Chinese trade agreements a reality," he concluded.
Greens industrial relations spokesperson Adam Bandt MP said: “I am disappointed that Labor has joined with the government to vote down the Greens’ amendments to secure protections for local jobs.”
“Under the deal that Labor did with the government, it will be possible for an unlimited number of overseas workers to be brought in without having to advertise locally first.”
“Our amendments would have cemented the safeguards for local jobs and helped stop exploitation of overseas workers.”