Well it seems we’re back on the merry-go-round of the Abbott governments desire to strip Australia of its natural resources and at the same time open us to legal action from international corporations who are blocked from proceeding in certain areas due to a state’s legislative policies.
“The decision by Prime Minister Abbott to reverse the blanket prohibition on ‘investor-state dispute settlement’ (ISDS) provisions in Australia’s upcoming trade negotiations has the potential to irreversibly damage Australia’s national interests by limiting Australia’s ability to set its own policies when it comes to health, the environment, social policies and more.” Avaaz, 2014
This is because this new policy will give foreign corporations the right to sue the Australian Government if they believe our policies will damage their corporate interests. For example Tasmania and South Australia have a moratorium on Genetically Engineered crops. If this legislation is passed biotech corporations could sue those governments for preventing them from proceeding in those state. The same would apply to those who opposed CSG and even over our pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
If you think this sounds outrageous then its well worth considering the impact of what ISDS provisions are currently doing in Canada –
“Quebec province had a US$250 million lawsuit launched against them after they called a moratorium on shale gas extraction (fracking) as they need time to assess the potential environmental impacts of fracking on their water supply. That’s not to mention the US$500 million case being bought against Canada under ISDS provisions by pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly over patent decisions made by the Canadian Federal Courts.”
The potential financial cost for the Australian taxpayer is only overshadowed by the loss of national sovereignty that this policy would bring to Australia. It is unthinkable to give foreign corporations the right to direct our policies at the point of a lawsuit. THIS is what our prime minister wants as his legacy?
For anyone who values a country’s right to determine their own policies please feel free to click on the link and sign the petition to help stop this now before Australia is left defenseless by those who would rape its natural assets with no thought for the future and with no consideration for those who live here.