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Labor, Coalition, and Greens condemn Defence Trade Controls Bill – but only Greens oppose it

In a bizarre scenario the Government and Opposition have joined the Greens in slamming the Defence Trade Controls Bill, yet only the Greens oppose the flawed legislation.

Greens spokesperson assisting on Defence Senator Scott Ludlam said "there was cross-party agreement on how flawed this process and outcome has been, speaker after speaker has lined up to condemn it. But when it comes to the vote, the major parties have been given their marching orders".

"We've seen some strange shadow-boxing around this Bill - three Liberal Senators signed a strongly-worded dissenting report and back-flipped 24 hours later. One of them called the legislation ‘a disgrace' and in the same breath announced he would support it. While this dismal theatre might be entertaining to some, the reality remains that restrictions imposed by the flawed execution of this treaty will have a chilling effect on Australia's research sector.

"The Government and Opposition has ignored Australian universities' warning of this deal which threatens to subordinate the Australian research effort to security restrictions, and are pushing the Bill through Parliament to suit the impending visit of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of Defence Leon Panetta.

"The Government and the Opposition are waving their arms around and quoting Australian universities. Only the Greens are actually listening to them."


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