These kinds of agreements do need to be looked at carefully. They need to be looked at through the lens of our broad responsibility to our Pacific island neighbours. We don't stand on an equal footing when we negotiate these kinds of agreements. There is a vast disparity in economic power and capacity between Australia and New Zealand on the one hand and Pacific island nations on the other.
The IPU continues to be a forum in which parliamentarians discuss and debate issues that affect us all within our sovereign nations and, most importantly, the issues that affect us in the form of global challenges—like conflict, climate change, the global displacement of people and related migration and other humanitarian crises.
Mr Wilson (1:33pm) — I take this opportunity to remember and pay tribute to Professor Patrick Troy AO, who passed away here in Canberra on 24 July. Patrick Troy worked as a researcher and speech writer for Tom Uren during the Whitlam government.
We cannot continue to sit idly by and watch Australian shipping and our capacity in that space decline. It is critical to our economic wellbeing. We are a trading nation. We are an island nation, and shipping is our lifeline. It's a matter of sovereign self-sufficiency. Without it we can't be sure in general terms and we certainly can't be sure in times of crisis that we will be able to function economically and be able to secure and sustain the social and economic wellbeing of Australia. It's also central to our capacity to be engaged in and support our region, to respond to natural disaster and at times to draw on a merchant marine capacity.
Mr Wilson (1:30pm) — Yesterday, the government moved forward with its ridiculous plan to make life harder for prospective university students and graduates. At a time when our economic future depends on a smarter, better trained workforce, at a time when we should be working to reduce inequality and to improve access to education, this government has decided to whack low-income Australians.