Mr Michael Danby MP - Chair, JSCFADT
Monday, 21 November 2011
behalf of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade, I
seek leave to make a statement on the Defence Trade Controls Bill 2011 and the
Customs Amendment (Military End‐Use) Bill 2011, in discharge of the
Committee’s requirement to provide an advisory report on the Bills and to
present a copy of my statement.
leave is granted...]
Speaker, the Committee has considered the content of this statement and
unanimously endorses it.
Thursday, 3 November the House of Representatives Selection Committee referred
the Defence Trade Controls Bill 2011 and the Customs Amendment (Military
End‐Use) Bill 2011 to the Joint Standing Committee for inquiry and
Defence Trade Controls Bill is intended to give effect to a Treaty between
Australia and the United States Concerning Defense Trade Cooperation, which was
examined and endorsed by the Parliament’s Treaties Committee in September 2008.
The US Senate recommended ratification of the Treaty last year and the Congress
passed the Treaty’s implementing legislation on 28 September.
essence, the Treaty and its enabling legislation create a framework for
two‐way trade in eligible defence articles between trusted communities of the two countries, without the need for
licenses to be obtained for each export. For Australian companies that are part
of the approved community, this will save time and money. For the Australian
Defence Force, the legislation will also improve interoperability with US armed
forces and defence industries.
The Treaty and the
Bill will strengthen our alliance with the United States in defence capability
and technology, which is clearly in our national interest.
The purpose of the
Customs Amendment Bill, which complements the new powers in the Defence Trade
Control Bill, is to strengthen Australia’s defence export controls by providing
measures to prohibit the export of goods where they may have a military
end‐use contrary to Australia’s interests.
In view of the
recent visit of the US President and the 60th Anniversary of the ANZUS
Alliance, the Government has requested that these Bills be dealt with
expeditiously by the Committee and that, if possible, an advisory report be
presented to the House of Representatives this week.
The principle Bill,
the Defence Trade Controls Bill 2011, has now been referred to the Senate
Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee which has commenced
its inquiry. Any concerns that stakeholders have in relation to the Bill may be
considered by the Senate Committee.
Out of a desire to
avoid needlessly duplicating the examination being conducted by the Senate
Committee, to more efficiently progress the passage of the Bills through the
Parliament and at the special request of the Government, the Committee has
agreed not to further inquire into the Bills and recommends that the House of
Representatives pass both Bills without amendment.
I wish to
express my gratitude to the Opposition members of the Committee and, in
particular, to the Deputy Chair of the Committee, Mrs Joanna Gash, for
accommodating the Government’s request on this occasion.