The Greens spokesperson for Trade, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson provides the following comments on reports that Trade Minister Andrew Robb is offering MPs private briefings and viewings of the Trans Pacific Partnership (subject to confidentiality orders).
Senator Whish-Wilson said, “I have asked questions of Ministers in Question Time, and questions of Ministers and officials in Estimates; the Senate has passed motions calling on the Government to table the text of the TPP well before it is signed; and no one has provided any relevant information at all.
“Other stakeholders and I have attended DFAT's TPP consultation sessions where basic questions are repeatedly left unanswered.
“No one from the Government or any agency has contacted me with an offer to receive a private briefing or to see the draft text.
“So as you can imagine I was somewhat astonished to read in the press that I have been offered these opportunities.
“It would be fruitless if I could gain access to the text but could not share it with stakeholders and the community. The point of transparency is for the public and expert groups to provide feedback to the Government on the impacts of these deals.
“I will not be taking-up the supposed offer to view the text as that would be feeding into the unnecessary secrecy that surrounds the deal. The Government should be releasing information to the public, not just a select few,” he concluded.