Senate debates

Tuesday, 21 August 2012


Criminal Code Amendment (Cluster Munitions Prohibition) Bill 2010; In Committee

12:53 pm

Photo of Scott LudlamScott Ludlam (WA, Australian Greens) Share this | Hansard source

I am happy to cede the call to Senator Birmingham because I know he wanted to be here for the debate last night and I have put a question through your duty senator inquiring into coalition policy, which I know is a bit unorthodox, because the Australian government is refusing to enshrine a fairly important point into law. Parliamentary Secretary, what flexibility is created by giving us the policy undertaking that we have now, which you have indicated will go into writing when we formally ratify? What do we gain by doing that? What flexibility do we gain? What would be possible, given that undertaking in policy, that would not be possible if we simply removed these offending clauses? I do not understand how making a policy commitment to not stockpile these weapons here is any different from a strategic or operational point of view from enshrining it in law. If there is no difference, let us just put it into the bill.


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