The Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement (KAFTA) was tabled in Federal Parliament on 13 May 2014.
As part of Australia’s normal treaty practice, Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT) will now undertake an inquiry into the KAFTA. This will include receiving and considering submissions and holding public hearings.
In addition a separate inquiry is being held by the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee, which will also receive submissions.
To help ensure that support for KAFTA, Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade (DFAT) is encouraging interested stakeholders to make submissions to the Inquiries to ensure stakeholder views are noted.
As the two inquiries are different, separate submissions, addressed to each committee would be required addressing the differing terms of reference – The deadline for submissions to JSCOT is 13 June 2014.
The Senate Inquiry has yet to set a deadline however it is accepting submissions now and will likely do so until shortly after the JSCOT deadline.
The JSCOT is expected to report by 3 September 2014. The separate Senate inquiry will report one month later. Some legislative changes will be introduced after JSCOT reports, and DFAT is working with Korea to try and ensure that domestic processes are completed in both countries later this year, to enable the benefits of KAFTA can begin to flow as early as possible.
Details of the addresses, terms of reference etc for both Inquiries can be found as follows: