This report contains the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties’ review of the following treaty actions:
Agreement between the Government of Australia and the Government of the Republic of Singapore concerning Military Training and Training Area Development in Australia (Canberra and Singapore, 23 March 2020); and
Australia-Singapore Digital Economy Agreement (Adelaide and Singapore, 6 August 2020).
The Committee’s resolution of appointment empowers it to inquire into any treaty to which Australia has become a signatory, on the treaty being tabled in the Parliament.
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 Australia 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, State and Territory agencies, and with industry or non-government organisations.
A Regulatory 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 Committee takes account of these documents in its examination of the treaty text, in addition to other evidence taken during the inquiry program.
Only one of the treaty actions examined in this report, the Australia-Singapore Digital Economy Agreement, required a RIS.
Copies of the treaties considered in this report and the associated documentation may be accessed through the Committee’s website at:
This report also contains the Committee’s reviews on two minor treaty actions:
Amendment to the Framework Agreement on the establishment of the International Solar Alliance; and
Amendment of Article XII(c)(ii) of the Agreement relating to the International Telecommunications Satellite Organization.
Conduct of the Committee’s review
The treaty actions reviewed in this report were advertised on the Committee website from the date of referral. Submissions for the treaty actions were requested by 18 September 2020. Two submissions were received for the agreement relating to military training with Singapore and seven submissions for the agreement relating to the digital economy with Singapore.
The Committee held a public hearing via teleconference on 9 November 2020. The transcript of evidence from the public hearing may be obtained from the Committee Secretariat or accessed through the Committee’s website as listed above.
A list of submissions received is at Appendix A and a list of witnesses who appeared at the public hearing is at Appendix B.