Through telescope – a trio of treaties

House of Representatives

The Joint Standing Committee on Treaties

has tabled a report endorsing three proposed treaty actions.

Committee Chair Mr Dave Sharma MP says that each of the treaty actions represent important progress for Australia.

In particular, the report includes a treaty that provides for the establishment of the governing body of the Square Kilometre Array Observatory. The Square Kilometre Array is a global big-science project to build and operate the world’s largest, most advanced radio observatories.

‘Australia will be one of two countries to host a Square Kilometre Array telescope and our involvement will reinforce Australia’s commitment to international cooperation in scientific and technological fields,’ Mr Sharma said.

‘The Committee was also excited to hear that the project is expected to generate Nobel Prizes, some of which are expected to be received by Australian scientists.’

Also considered in the report is a treaty on the protection of investments agreement with Uruguay, which Mr Sharma says reflects Australia’s commitment to update older style investment treaties.

A treaty on the United Nations Convention on Transparency in Treaty-based Investor-State Arbitration has also been endorsed by the Committee, with Mr Sharma noting that it enhances transparency for investor-state arbitration proceedings, a longstanding matter of public concern.

‘Once ratified, the UN Convention will enable existing transparency rules to be applied to arbitrations across a wider pool of investment treaties, including the publication of case related information and for tribunal hearings to be made public,’ Mr Sharma said.

/Public Release.