Copy for Stop MAI's community protest advertisement in The Australian, 11 November, 1998
(See also the sign-on letter which this ad was designed to reinforce.)
MAI? Not nownot ever!
The Multilateral Agreement on Investment is a treaty which would give multinational corporations the standing previously only granted to nations, and a freer hand to challenge labour standards, environment protection, social justice and democratic control over all levels of government, worldwide. The MAI allows corporations to seek compensation for laws that reduce corporate profits. Australia must withdraw NOW and not resume the negotiations in any other forum.
Successive governments have shown disregard for the public by not consulting over this OECD treaty until after it was leaked to the public and opposed by civil society organisations of many nations, informed through the Internet.
The undersigned citizens call on the Australian Government to:
- Require multinational investors to observe established standards of environment protection, labour, health, safety and human rights;
- Allow governments to set environmental, labour, health and safety standards, regardless of whether this imposes financial obligations and losses on investors;
- Give the community effective new powers to hold investors to account;
- Reject terms which restrict the right of governments to improve standards and/or to effect withdrawal with six months notice.
We also call on commercial news media to pay more attention to due reportage of community opinion in these matters
Endorsed by over 500 organisations and individuals, including the following who have contributed to the cost of this announcement:: The Stop MAI Coalition of Australia, Trades and Labour Council of WA, Senator Dee Margetts (Greens WA), Palm Computing, K Johnson, Senator Margaret Reynolds (ALP, Qld), Trades Hall Council of Victoria, Economic Reform Australia, Progressive Labour Party, K Geiselhart, SEARCH Foundation, B Atcheson, E & L Gilmour, A & J Blake, R & T Huxtable, Social Action Office Brisbane, Dr H G Holland, Dr J Goodman, V Mansel-Lees, M Townsend, D Legge & J Sanguinetti, Adelaide Fountain Group, T Trainer, D Chandler, EF & E Johnston, R Thode, A Shoebridge, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Sisters of Charity, Canossian Daughters of Charity, Presentation Sisters Qld, Catholic Justice and Peace Commission Brisbane, Community and Public Sector Union/PSU (WA), Good Shepherd Social Justice Network, Sisters of Mercy Townsville, Australian Young Christian Workers, Australian Student Christian Movement, Emeritus Prof M Webb, J Massam, D Giles, G Palmer, J Jermalinski, D Banner, G Dunlevy, B & J Jenkins, D & F Ferguson, Greens NSW, P Lye, G Daniel, E E de Saxe, P Elphinston, W & T Lange, V Englart, D Dynes, J M Morley, R Crow, L C Millward, D & K Syme, Assoc Prof F Stilwell, M McClellan, J A Humphrys, L Hutchings, M Coleman, R Sanders, R Watson, V Williams.
POSTSCRIPT: The Australian Government (albeit with reluctance) followed France's example and withdrew from further consideration of the MAI, but laid plans to work for further trade and investment liberalisation through the WTO. Details of the popular victory are outlined here.