Senate debates

Monday, 15 March 2021


China: Human Rights

5:11 pm

Photo of Janet RiceJanet Rice (Victoria, Australian Greens) Share this | Hansard source

We have had leave denied on Senator Patrick's motion. We have just failed a suspension of standing orders, denying the Senate the ability to consider an issue of critical foreign policy. Barely a month ago we had the government and the Labor Party giving notice of a motion in support of the US alliance and, as we said then, we took that as a move that finally—a welcome change—the government and Labor would now allow foreign policy motions to be considered by the Senate at this time. But, sadly, that appears not to be the case.

I want to put on the record that the Greens would have supported Senator Patrick's motion if we had been given the opportunity to vote on it, because the Chinese government's abuses against the Uighur people are appalling. We have millions of Uighurs who are detained in re-education camps, and the Chinese government is conducting a campaign to reduce Uighur birthrates and to systematically destroy cultural heritage. This is at the very least cultural genocide, and the Australian government must—


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