Thursday, 7 December 2006
- That the Senate—
- notes recent statements by the United States Secretary of Defense, Mr Robert Gates, regarding the failure of Coalition forces in Iraq; and
- calls on the Government to acknowledge that Coalition forces are losing the war in Iraq and immediately withdraw Australian troops.
by leave—I move an amendment to the motion, which has been circulated:
Omit paragraph (b), substitute:
- calls on the Government to acknowledge the Coalition forces are losing the war in Iraq and to plan a withdrawal of Australian troops from Iraq as soon as practicable.
by leave—I wish to make a short statement. The Australian Greens are not in a position to support changing an immediate withdrawal to a planned withdrawal. A planned withdrawal is the position of the Howard government—perhaps not even the position of the Bush government now—and could mean 20 years time. This is an immediate issue that needs resolution, so I am not in a position to accept the amendment. However, I would be prepared to change the wording of the motion so that it read ‘a planned, immediate withdrawal’, because of course all withdrawals are planned. But I am not happy to accept the amendment as proposed by Senator Allison.
That the amendment (Senator Allison’s) be agreed to.