Treaties Committee to consider Southeast Asia trade area agreement and removal of wrecks treaty

THE Joint Standing Committee on Treaties will hold two public hearings today for its inquiries into the Second Protocol to Amend the Agreement Establishing the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area (AANZFTA) (AANZFTA Second Protocol) and the Nairobi International Convention on the Removal of Wrecks (the Nairobi Convention).

The second public hearing to be held by the Committee on the AANZFTA Second Protocol will provide an opportunity for the committee to discuss issues arising from the treaty including the investor-state dispute settlement mechanism, inter-state dispute settlement, the adoption of a negative list approach and cooperation in education.

The committee will hear from Professor Luke Nottage, the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network and the Australian Council of Trade Unions.

The committee will then hold a public hearing for its inquiry into the Nairobi Convention which aims to give State Parties the legal means to remove or have shipwrecks removed that potentially affect the safety of lives, goods and property at sea, and the marine environment.

The convention provides rules and standards that facilitate prompt and effective removal of shipwrecks which are located in areas beyond the territorial sea. The convention also ensures that registered ship owners are held financially liable for the creation of wrecks and are required to have insurance or other financial security to cover the costs of locating, marking and removing wrecks. 

Committee Chair Josh Wilson MP said, "Australia is dependent on international maritime trade, so it is vital we keep our maritime environment safe.

“Most wreck incidents affecting Australia involve lost shipping containers from foreign flagged vessels in Australia’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ). By acceding to this treaty, Australia would be legally allowed to remove or have removed wrecks in the EEZ that pose a danger, impede navigation or could cause major consequences to the marine environment or Australia’s coastline.”

The committee will hear from officials from the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications, and the Arts and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Public hearing details - AANZFTA Second Protocol  

Date:               Monday 25 March 2024
Time:              11am approximately
Location:        Committee Room 2R1

Public hearing details - Nairobi Convention

Date:               Monday 25 March 2024
Time:               11:50am approximately
Location:         Committee Room 2R1

The hearings can be accessed online and the programs for the hearings are available on the Committee website, along with further information about the inquiries. 



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