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Abbott fails to act on Treasury Secretary's call on housing bubble

Under questioning from the Greens Spokesperson for Finance, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, the Treasury Secretary John Fraser said that, for Sydney and parts of Melbourne, the housing market was ‘unequivocally’ a bubble.

When Senator Whish-Wilson later questioned the Reserve Bank, Assistant Governor Malcolm Edey added that “…a lot of people do think it’s a bubble – serious people think that – and we agree that this is a situation where the market is strong, it’s overheated, it’s a risky situation…”

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Greens welcome ACTU intervention in the TPP debate

The Greens spokesperson for Trade, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, enthusiastically welcomes the ACTU passing a motion at their National Congress today calling on the Australian Government to release the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) text or to withdraw Australia from negotiations. Senator Whish-Wilson addressed ACTU members at a TPP breakfast yesterday.

Senator Whish-Wilson said “Today the ACTU unanimously passed a motion calling on the Australian Government to release the TPP text or to withdraw from negotiations.

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Senate Inquiry hears that trade deal process is broken

The Greens spokesperson for Trade, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson says that the current Senate Inquiry into The Commonwealth’s treaty-making process should provide the circuit-breaker needed to spark an overhaul of the broken trade deal process.

Senator Whish-Wilson said, “The overwhelming weight of submissions to this Inquiry indicated that the process by which Australia makes trade deals is broken.

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Heffernan speaks the truth on the TPP as Andrew Robb continues to spin

The Greens spokesperson for Trade, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, provides the following comments on Liberal Senator Bill Heffernan’s attack on the Australian Government’s handling of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement negotiations.

Senator Whish-Wilson said, “I congratulate Bill Heffernan for taking Andrew Robb to task over the secrecy surrounding the TPP and the consequences of the Trojan Horse Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) clauses.

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Government needs to heed Harper’s warnings on trade deal approach

The Greens spokesperson for Trade, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, has backed the recommendation within the Harper Review into competition policy that calls for an “Independent and transparent analysis of the costs and benefits to Australia of any proposed IP provisions in trade negotiations [to] be undertaken to inform international trade negotiations”.

Senator Whish-Wilson said, “Trade Minister, Andrew Robb, labels anyone who criticises his approach to trade deals as an anti-trade scaremonger. Well now he can add Ian Harper to his list of scaremongers.

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Australian Senate calls for a cost-benefit inquiry into the impact of the TPP

Last week the Australian Senate called on the Australian Government to request that the Productivity Commission undertake a comprehensive socio-economic cost-benefit inquiry into the impact of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement on Australia.  See Senator Whish-Wilson's motion below which was passed by the Senate.

Senator Whish-Wilson amended general business notice of motion no. 695 by leave and, pursuant to notice of motion not objected to as a formal motion, moved - That the Senate-

    (a)   notes that the Malaysian Government:

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Leaked TPP text confirms worst fears over secretive trade deal

Greens spokesperson for Trade, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, provides the following comments on today’s leak of the Investment Chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement that indicates the deal will include the controversial and dangerous Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) clause.

Senator Whish-Wilson said, “The Senate recently heard evidence that ISDS clauses are now proving dangerous, with hundreds of cases proliferating around the world in recent years.

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A spoonful of sugar won’t make Robb’s trade deal medicine go down

Greens spokesperson for Trade, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, provides the following comments on the analysis by the Centre for Health Equity Training Research and Evaluation at the University of NSW on the impact of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP) on medicine prices.

Senator Whish-Wilson said, “Here we have an expert analysis of the leaked chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership that says the TPP will make medicine prices go up.

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More reasons to sceptical of trade deal rhetoric

The Greens spokesperson for Trade, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, today questioned Treasury officials about the so-called economic benefits of the Abbott Government’s trade deals. Treasury officials revealed that that have done no modelling on the economic benefits of these deals to include in GDP forecasts.

Senator Whish-Wilson said, “The incoming Government brief prepared by Treasury in 2010 said that the potential benefits of the Free Trade Agreements currently under negotiation have been oversold and the negatives largely ignored.

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