Mr. Lamb, I think our recordings are very good. Over the years, we have also had representatives of States in our delegations to the annual meetings of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights. Although it is not a contractual body itself, it is a body that often reflects on what should happen in a treaty, how a treaty might be implemented or what standards are used. Mr. Campbell [of the Attorney General`s Department] – I think they [the states] have recently been represented at most of the eminent environmental congresses. Admittedly, the Convention on Desertification, the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Climate Convention were representatives of the States participating in the negotiations within the framework of the Australian delegation. At least one of the Attorneys General has participated in the most important meetings throughout the history of negotiations, including the meetings of the Preparatory Committee for the Law of the Sea. 13.46 While the Commonwealth considered that there was a very high degree of consultation with States, States disagreed. As noted above, the opinion of the joint state-territory government states that “the level of information that the Commonwealth provides to states and territories varies considerably from treaty to treaty” and that “the views of states and territories are sometimes obtained too late in the negotiation process”.  There have been proposals for a Treaty Council – and I will gladly come back to this question – but I think it is important to ask ourselves exactly what the function of such a body might be.
Is it COAG with another name? Should it essentially be a state body that allows states to coordinate their point of view? Or is it a kind of federal secretariat of state, and where does it report in this case and what role does it essentially play if there are existing mechanisms?  The Geological Survey of Western Australia (GSWA) publishes state-of-the-art reports, maps and databases that document the geology and mineral resources of Western Australia. . . .