Monday, 16 March 2015
Suspension of Standing Orders
Mr Deputy President, I can indicate that the government will not be supporting this motion to suspend standing orders. As I indicated in my short statement a little earlier, the government does not believe that formal notices of motion are the appropriate mechanism to prosecute foreign relations. Let me reiterate that the Australian government does remain concerned about the human rights situation in Tibet, and that Australia has consistently raised its concerns with its Chinese counterparts in Canberra and in Beijing. The Australia-China Human Rights Dialogue is a forum where the Australian government puts its views forward; that is an important forum for frank and constructive exchanges of views at a senior level. The government is of the view that when it comes to matters of foreign relations, notices of motion are not the most appropriate mechanism through which to pursue those.