21st January 1998
Ladies and gentlemen of the press,
Todays press conference is more than just a matter of news, it is a very serious matter of national interest and it is only through yourselves that Australians can be effectively informed of the treacherous nature of their governments intentions to sign away the future of Australia by selling us out completely.
The Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI) is the brainchild of the OECD and is an attack on everything Australian. In fact it poses the same threat to many countries and various groups around the world are conducting their own fight just as we must.
Currently, the government is negotiating the treaty in secret and it is expected to be ready for signature in April or May this year. Once we are bound by this agreement its terms will trap us for 20 years with no facility for changes.
The purpose of this agreement is to transfer power and control away from citizens and their democratically elected representatives to the worlds largest multinationals with no strings attached.
The effect of this agreement as they are known to us at present include:
Australian governments, whether federal, state or local, will not be able to favour local business over foreigners.
Any performance requirements for multinationals, such as creating jobs for Australians, using local components, or loyalty to Australia, will not be allowed.
Australia will not be able to stop multinationals from importing foreign workers and their families into our country.
Multinationals will be able to sue all three levels of Australian government for any infringements of the rights given to them by the agreement - it will be the Australian taxpayers who will pay the legal costs and damages compensation.
It is important to understand this is not about trade, it is all about power and control.
This is the multinationals shifting production and workforces without impediment from country to country to minimise costs and maximise profits. Giving them unrestricted rights and freedom to buy, sell and move their operations whenever and wherever they want around the world.
The agreement is designed to impose tight restrictions on what National governments can do in regulating their own economies.
We will no longer be able to attach conditions to, or limit the extent of foreign investment and many of our decisions will be made by international bureaucrats.
It will be impossible for Australians to run our country for our own interests. Our government will in many respects be reduced to simple managers and caretakers for foreigners.
In the words of Renato Ruggerio, Director General of the World Trade Organisation, We are writing the constitution of a single Global Economy.
The negotiation of the agreement commenced under Labor in 1995, and has continued under the current Coalition government - Liberal, National and Labor must shoulder the responsibility and wear the blame.
While it has been reported Australian negotiators have submitted 29 reservations to the agreement, we have no idea what those reservations are and it must be acknowledged that Canada has asked for 48 exemptions.
The secret negotiations must stop and the government must come clean immediately. In particular the government must disclose forthwith the 29 areas they have already raised as issues.
Australians must be given details of this agreement.
They must issue a draft of the agreement to any interested community groups for full and frank public scrutiny as well as opening up the issue for parliamentary debate.
It will effect everyone from workers to owners of Australian businesses, their families, their futures, everything.
Ladies and Gentlemen of the press, I believe you have a professional and patriotic responsibility to do all you can to alert Australians to the dangers of this agreement and the need for the government to be more open and accountable for their intended actions with relation to the MAI.
Statement issued by Pauline Hanson MP, member for Oxley.