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Newtown Public Meeting to discuss TPP impacts

Media release 10 March 2014

Newtown Public Meeting to discuss Trans-Pacific Trade (TPP) impacts on health, environment and other Australian laws

6.30pm, Monday March 10

Newtown Neighbourhood Centre, 1 Bedford St (Opposite Newtown Station)

“The TPP negotiations between Australia, the US and ten other Asia-Pacific Countries are being driven by the US on behalf of its major industries,” Dr Patricia Ranald, Convenor of The Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network, said today.

“Pharmaceutical companies want longer patents for higher prices for medicines, IT companies want stronger copyright laws, which would raise costs for schools and libraries and restrict internet freedom, and media companies want less Australian content in film and television. They also want special rights for foreign investors to sue governments in international tribunals if health or environmental laws harm their investment”, said Dr Ranald.

“But despite these proposals for greater rights for investors, there is still no agreement about enforceable labour rights or environmental standards,” said Dr Ranald.

“The TPP could see all Australians paying a lot more for life-saving essential medicines,” said Judith Kiejda, Assistant General Secretary of the New South Wales Nurses' and Midwives' Association “We as nurses and midwives cannot stand by and let this happen. No government should put the profits of foreign pharmaceutical companies ahead of the rights of all Australians to affordable health care. We hope that as more people hear what is happening, then more people will speak out."

“The negotiations have dragged on for over four years and missed many deadlines because communities have pressured governments to resist these demands. This and other community meetings will send a strong message to the government that there is growing community concern about the TPP,” said Dr Ranald.
Speakers include:

Dr Patricia Ranald, Convener, Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network (AFTINET), Michael Whaites, NSW Nurses and Midwives Association, Isabel McIntosh, Lock the Gate Alliance, Simon Frew, Pirate Party

ENDS

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