AUSTRALIA’S DECLINING SOVEREIGNTY

 

                While the government is planning to increase our defence spending, despite there being no foreseeable likelihood of Australia being subject to military invasion, it is selling out our sovereignty and making our independence as a nation something of a joke. This is not something new of course.

                Think of all the wars Australia has been involved in. Only once in our history have we actually come under attack and that was when the Japanese bombed us in World War II. Admittedly in World Wars I and II, and earlier wars, we were fighting on the side of Great Britain, the nation from which modern Australia is descended, but subsequently we became involved in the United Nations and various treaties that again saw us fighting nations that were not of immediate threat to us.

            Our entry into the Vietnam War was justified on the basis of our obligations under the South East Asian Treaty Organisation even though most of the other signatories to this treaty did not become involved in the war. (1) Previously, in the early 1950s we took part in the Korean War because we were part of the United Nations. (2)

            When our then Minister for External Affairs, Doctor Herbert V Evatt, led us into membership of the United Nations, even he had reservations about to what extent it would interfere in our internal affairs and affect such matters as immigration and our White Australia Policy. Unfortunately, in 1966, under a Liberal government, Australia signed the UN’s Racial Discrimination Convention making it difficult to maintain the discriminatory immigration policy. Nevertheless it was not until 1975 that the Australian government, at the time of prime minster Gough Whitlam’s Labor government, passed the Racial Discrimination Act. (3)

            We have also acceded to many other UN conventions and treaties that affect how we live and how the country is run, one of the most costly being the UN Refugee Convention originally signed in 1951 but made worse by various amendments. (4) These made it more difficult to decide who could come into this country. Any unauthorised person could turn up on our shores and claim asylum and under the convention it was very difficult to get rid of them. The result has been thousands of illegals turning up or dying in the attempt, and billions spent in an attempt to stem the tide of illegals.

            Then there are the many free trade agreements Australia has entered. For instance the government has just signed us up to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, more simply known as TPP 11. This is the treaty that was originally to include Australia and the United States along with ten other nations but which the US, under Donald Trump, decided not to enter.

            The government has a requirement for labour market testing which means that if a company operating in Australia wants to import skilled labour they must ensure there is no local person who could do the job. Under TPP 11, six countries have been exempted from this requirement. Furthermore the agreement includes what is known as Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) which means that a foreign investor from a TPP 11 nation can sue our government for any action that may adversely affect their operations or profits. This of course means every law that our government passes in the future will have to give priority to the interests of foreign investors rather than the interests of Australian citizens. (5)

            To make it worse ISDS is already included in some free trade agreements signed previously such as those we have with China, Korea and Thailand. (6)

            If our freedom as a nation is important enough to spend billions of dollars on defence then surely we should not be tied up by agreements that attack our sovereignty and put the interests of foreigners over Australians.

 

Main sources:

(1) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southeast_Asia_Treaty_Organisation  Downloaded 20 June 2018

(2) https://www.awm.gov.au/visit/exhibitions/korea  Downloaded 20 June 2018

(3) James Cotton & David Lee, Eds, “Australia and the United Nations”, Longueville Books/Australian Government, 2012

(4) Klaus Neumann, “Across the Seas”, Black Inc., Collingwood, 2015

(5) Anna Patty, “TPP Deal May Expose Legal Risks”, Sydney Morning Herald, 5 March 2018

(6) “Investor-State Dispute Settlement”, Australian Government, Downloaded from the Internet

                                  (ANI 85 Winter 2018)