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    9.10 Free Trade Agreements, United Nations Conventions, and other international treaties

    The Federal Government leads Australia’s involvement in Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), United Nations (UN) Conventions, and other international treaties. The Department of the Premier and Cabinet (DPC) leads the Queensland Government’s engagement with the Federal Government on these matters. To inform this engagement, DPC consults with other Portfolio Agencies as needed.

    9.10.1 Free Trade Agreements

    The Federal Government is Australia’s representative on the global stage when negotiating FTAs with other countries or trading blocs. Under Australia’s federated system, responsibility for relevant areas of interest under an FTA may fall under the legislative and regulatory authority of States and Territories. The Federal Government, represented by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), liaises with State and Territory jurisdictions to seek views and positions on matters to be included in an FTA.

    To ensure a coordinated approach to all FTAs and a whole of government view, DPC receives all requests from DFAT. DPC will circulate information updates and requests for input as necessary. If necessary, DPC may also brief Cabinet on significant matters relating to FTAs and their negotiation or implementation.

    Australia’s agreement to FTAs may place long term obligations on the state. It is the responsibility of relevant Ministers and agencies to ensure the Queensland Government remains compliant with these obligations.

    9.10.2 United Nations Conventions and other international Treaties

    Power to enter into treaties is an Executive power vested in the Federal Government by the Australian Constitution. While these agreements are signed at the Federal level, such agreements, have implications for the operation of state and territory jurisdictions.

    Similar to the negotiation of FTAs, Queensland’s position on the negotiation of United Nations Conventions and other international treaties are led through DPC. Many international agreements and multilateral institutions have reporting requirements or reviews to ensure jurisdictions are meeting their obligations. Such exercises are led nationally by DFAT with requests sent to state and territory jurisdictions. DPC coordinates these requests and relies on Portfolio agencies to provide information as content experts. Timeframes for these requests are outside the control of DPC, although endeavours are made by DPC to ensure the maximum time is provided for agencies. It is the responsibility of agencies to provide relevant, succinct information relating directly to the request circulated by DPC within the required timeframes.

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    Last updated:
    25 May, 2021
    Last reviewed:
    25 May, 2021