Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 10 Hansard (Wednesday, 24 August 2005) . . Page.. 3168 ..
international movements on fair trade initiatives. They will of course have to be balanced off against any free trade agreements that we have made or that are imposed upon us and we have to abide by. The parameter will have to live side by side with other parameters that we must take into account such as buying Australian and supporting local industry where we can. Those other guidelines in place may be changed as a function of the review.
In relation to clause (4) of the motion, putting little signs on teacups or urns, I do not think we want to go there. From time to time, various delegations are entertained in this place, and in each case I think it would be wise to exercise diplomacy appropriate to the particular event, the particular delegation. I cannot really imagine a situation where it would be a problem, but I do not think I want to bind the Assembly to putting little notices on coffee pots or teapots, saying that the coffee or tea contained herein is fair trade coffee or tea.
The amendment circulated in my name does largely emasculate what Dr Foskey has put forward, and that is unfortunate, but I think, in practical terms, it is as far as we can go now. I give the commitment that we will incorporate considerations that have given rise to fair trade initiatives and, hopefully, the growth of fair trade labelling across the globe, into the purchasing procedures as they are reviewed.
DR FOSKEY (Molonglo) (4.04): I will move the amendment, to Mr Quinlan’s amendment, circulated in my name. I move:
This morning the Clerk tabled a petition that I had received, which had been organised by Oxfam, the ACT group. There were 124 signatures at that point and I am advised that three more pages have come in with 54 more signatures and no doubt, this being the way of things, more signatures will arrive. We are dealing with it this week but people, when signing the petition, do not know that. I think this shows that ACT people are getting behind the idea of a fair trade Assembly. I think, on the whole, ACT people want to live a life that is least harmful to the planet and most beneficial to social justice. I say on the whole because I certainly come across people with those concerns.
At the moment, we have got the opposite with people paying huge amounts of money just to support and advertise the logo of multinational companies. We probably all have teenage children that we cannot discourage from paying that extra $20 or $30 for somebody’s copyright on their T-shirt, and we also know that cups in many coffee shops advertise the coffee they serve. I am not proposing anything like that. I do not want us all to suddenly start sporting fair trade T-shirts, nor do I think we need to have a label on every cup or coffee pot. I was just suggesting a little cardboard thing; we have very large ones we use as name tags in the committee rooms, but I am talking about very small, very discreet, even beautiful, ones placed just near the urn. People can see it or not. If we are entertaining people to tea and coffee who would find that very uncomfortable well, good, let us have a conversation with them about it.
There is a display of fair trade products in the lobby and I invite members to have a look but not to eat. There is some excellent chocolate there. These products may be purchased from Mooble, which is a shop in Bailey’s Arcade that specialises in fair trade and other