Not all of the action in Canberra this week is in Parliament or Senate estimates. Officials from 12 countries yesterday began the latest round of secretive negotiations over the Trans-Pacific Partnership. They'll spend a week in Canberra thrashing out remaining issues in a trade treaty the Abbott government had hoped could be finalised by the end of last year. The draft treaty text is said to be 90% finalised, but the remaining 10% of matters, of course, are the hard ones. Ministers will meet next weekend in Sydney following the negotiations, and there may be meetings in Beijing when APEC meets there in the first two weeks of November.
Trade officials gather in Canberra — to undermine the national interest
Canberra is hosting the current round of talks to try to conclude the Trans-Pacific Partnership treaty -- despite the damage it will inflict on the national interest.