IT IS good to see the Tasmanian state government extend the moratorium on fracking in the state. It is only hoped that fracking is permanently banned from Tasmania.
However, all this power of the state to say no to companies such as the ones wishing to frack in Tasmania could well be threatened under the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement the federal government is considering.
Under the terms of this agreement the power of the state to ban fracking could be found illegal. For example, in 2012 an oil company began taking steps to use the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement to challenge Quebec’s hard-won fracking moratorium, claiming it robbed the company of its right to drill for gas in Quebec. The case is ongoing.
This well illustrates the concerns many of us have about the secrecy surrounding the details of this Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement.
The power of corporations to take states to court is one of the outcomes of this agreement and states like Tasmania would be at the mercy of these companies.
I, for one, do not want this Free Trade Agreement to go ahead unless we know all the details.
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