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Trans-Tasman Treaty introduced in both Parliaments

30 March 2004 Media Statement

Trans-Tasman Treaty introduced in both Parliaments

The establishment in 2005 of a single, bi-national agency to regulate therapeutic products in New Zealand and Australia came a step closer today when a trans-Tasman Treaty was presented simultaneously in parliaments of both countries.

New Zealand Health Minister Annette King and Australian Parliamentary Secretary for Health Trish Worth said today that the single agency, which will replace the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and the New Zealand Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Authority (Medsafe), will be accountable to both the Australian and New Zealand Governments. Ms King and Ms Worth signed the Treaty in Wellington on December 10 last year.

The single agency will include the regulation of medical devices and prescription, over-the-counter and complementary medicines. The Treaty sets out the governance and accountability arrangements for the new agency, and how it is to be established. It also provides a framework for the joint regulatory scheme.

The Treaty will be tabled in both Houses of the Australian Parliament for 20 sitting days and in the New Zealand Parliament for 15 sitting days. The Joint Standing Committee on Treaties of the Australian Parliament and the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee of the New Zealand Parliament will examine and report on the Treaty.

Ms King said today the new Treaty will further cement relations between New Zealand and Australia and will give consumers in both countries full confidence that the medical devices and medicines that they use will be safe, efficacious and of the highest quality.

Ms Worth said the Treaty represents an unprecedented level of trans-Tasman cooperation and collaboration and the public in both countries will be the main beneficiaries of a new, world-class regulatory system.

Related Australian and New Zealand legislation is currently being developed to implement the joint scheme. Significant consultation will occur with stakeholders on both sides of the Tasman on this legislation. Once this legislation is passed, the Treaty will come into force and the new joint regulatory scheme will begin.


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