Senate debates

Monday, 23 June 2014



3:51 pm

Photo of Michaelia CashMichaelia Cash (WA, Liberal Party, Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection) Share this | Hansard source

The government will not be supporting this motion to suspend standing orders. I do not believe Senator Hanson-Young, in her speech, put forward any reasons as to why the motion should be supported.

Senators will be aware that it is the longstanding position of consecutive governments that complex or contested matters of foreign policy should not be dealt with in this fashion on the floor of the chamber. If Senator Hanson-Young is unaware after six years in this place of the practice of consecutive governments, I would suggest the senator may wish to avail herself as to the practices and procedures of this place. In the event that Senator Hanson-Young is aware of the practice and procedures of former consecutive governments, I would say that clearly indicates that the motion before the Senate is nothing more and nothing less a political stunt on behalf of the Greens, which is obviously disappointing given the gravity of the situation currently in Iraq.

Further to the statement given by Senator Fifield last week in response to this matter, I will confirm with the Senate that the Minister for Foreign Affairs has announced that Australia will provide $5 million in humanitarian assistance to support the hundreds of thousands of people fleeing violence in Iraq. Australia's assistance will be provided through the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the World Food Programme. This assistance will provide food, medical assistance, tents, access to clean water and hygiene kits. And the government is continuing to monitor what is a dynamic and evolving situation in Iraq to take into account any emerging risks. I confirm that the government will not be supporting this motion to suspend standing orders.


No comments