Chapter 1 Introduction
Purpose of the report
This report contains the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties’ review of
the Malaysia-Australia Free Trade Agreement done at Kuala Lumpur on 22 May
2012 which was tabled in Parliament on 14 August 2012.
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 arise.
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. The treaty examined in this report required an RIS.
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 this treaty and its associated documentation may be obtained
from the Committee Secretariat or accessed through the Committee’s website at: <http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/House_of_Representatives_Committees?url=jsct/under_review.htm>
Conduct of the Committee’s review
The treaty action reviewed in this report was advertised on the
Committee’s website from the date of tabling. Submissions for this treaty were
requested by Friday, 14 September 2012, with extensions
available on request.
Invitations were made to all State Premiers, Territory 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.
The Committee examined witnesses on the treaty at a public hearing held
in Canberra on Friday 12 October 2012.
A list of witnesses who appeared at the public hearing is at Appendix A.
The transcript of evidence from the public hearing may be obtained from
the Committee Secretariat or accessed through the Committee’s website under the
treaty’s tabling date, being:
Submissions received and their authors are listed at Appendix B.