Senate debates

Tuesday, 21 August 2012


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

1:04 pm

Photo of David FeeneyDavid Feeney (Victoria, Australian Labor Party, Parliamentary Secretary for Defence) Share this | Hansard source

I take up the invitation, Senator Birmingham. I repeat that the government thanks the opposition for supporting the Criminal Code Amendment (Cluster Munitions Prohibition) Bill 2010. I guess that the opposition has reached the judgement, as have we, that this bill gets the balance right. Obviously both we and the opposition come to the table with the understanding that we want to keep faith with the convention and that this bill does represent a step forward but that we are at the same time practically minded in that we wish to make sure that the convention does not have the effect of severing our alliance arrangements with the United States.

I repeat that we will be making a statement on cluster munitions, which you, Senator Birmingham, have talked about. The detail in the statement will be absolutely aligned with the undertakings I have given, and government policy will be expressed in the terms I have put them in this debate. I think that a lot of the detail that your question asked for I dealt with last night, and I commend the transcript to you for some of the detail about the balance in proposed sections 72.41 and 72.38 in particular.

I think that we have got the balance right and have said very plainly that this bill realises the convention, that matters above and beyond will be dealt with as a question of policy and that our policy is clear and well understood.


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