Chapter 1 Introduction
Purpose of the report
This report contains the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties’ review of
two treaty actions tabled on 23 March and 11 May 2011.
These treaty actions are proposed for ratification and are examined in
the order of tabling:
Tabled 23 March
MEPC.189(60), Adopted on 26 March 2010 Amendments to the Annex of the Protocol
of 1978 Relating to the International Convention for the Prevention of
Pollution from Ships, 1973 (London, 17 July 2009)
- Tabled 11 May 2011
on Investment to the Australia - New Zealand Closer Economic Relations Trade
Agreement (Wellington, 16 February 2011
The Committee’s resolution of appointment empowers it to inquire into
any treaty to which Australia has become signatory, on the treaty being tabled
The treaties, and matters arising from them, are evaluated to ensure
that ratification is in the national interest, and that unintended or negative
effects on Australians will not be entailed.
Prior to tabling, major treaty actions are subject to a National
Interest Analysis (NIA), prepared by Government. This document considers
arguments for and against the treaty, outlines the treaty obligations and any
regulatory or financial implications, and reports the results of consultations
undertaken with State and Territory Governments, Federal and State and
Territory agencies, and with industry or non-government organisations.
A Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) may accompany the NIA. The
RIS provides an account of the regulatory impact of the treaty action where
adoption of the treaty will involve a change in the regulatory environment for
Australian business. A RIS has been tabled with the Protocol on Investment
to the Australia - New Zealand Closer Economic Relations Trade Agreement (Wellington,
16 February 2011).
The Committee takes account of these documents in its examination of the
treaty text, in addition to other evidence taken during the inquiry program.
Copies of each treaty and its associated documentation may be obtained
from the Committee Secretariat or accessed through the Committee’s website at:
Conduct of the Committee’s review
The treaty actions reviewed in this report were advertised on the
Committee’s website from the date of tabling and in the national press on 11
May and 8 June 2011. Submissions were invited by 10 June 2011, with extensions
available on request.
Invitations were made to all State Premiers, Chief Ministers and to the Presiding
Officers of each Parliament to lodge submissions. The Committee also invited
submissions from individuals and organisations with an interest in the
particular treaty under review.
Submissions received and their authors are listed at Appendix A.
The Committee examined the witnesses on each treaty at public hearings
held in Canberra on 20 June 2011 and on 4 July 2011.
Transcripts of evidence from the public hearings may be obtained from
the Committee Secretariat or accessed through the Committee’s website under the
treaty’s tabling date, being:
- 23 March 2011
- 11 May 2011
A list of witnesses who appeared at the public hearings is at Appendix B.
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