Senate debates

Wednesday, 9 May 2012



3:52 pm

Photo of Scott LudlamScott Ludlam (WA, Australian Greens) Share this | | Hansard source

I move:

That the Senate—

  (a)   notes:

     (i)   Burma's National League for Democracy (NLD) won 43 of the 45 seats contested in the April 2012 by-election,

     (ii)   Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and her NLD colleagues took their seats in the parliament on 2 May 2012,

     (iii)   that out of a total of 664 seats in the Burmese Parliament, the NLD holds 7 per cent, the military 25 per cent and the military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party more than 50 per cent,

     (iv)   despite ballot irregularities and intimidations revealing the election not being entirely free and fair, sanctions on Burma were eased by the Australian Government as an incentive for further reform,

     (v)   the emphasis placed by the Minister for Foreign Affairs (Senator Bob Carr) on their reversibility of relaxed sanctions should reforms not progress,

     (vi)   up to 1 000 political prisoners remain in Burmese jails,

     (vii)   oil and gas revenues constitute the largest source of income for the regime, amounting to US$3 billion in the 2011-12 fiscal year, and

     (viii)   Australia's total two-way trade with Burma amounted to $93 million in 2010-11; and

  (b)   calls on the Australian Government to:

     (i)   ensure any normalisation of Australian trade and investment in Burma is reversible, and

     (ii)   adopt the United States of America model of normalising trade in sectors that will create jobs, build skills and have positive benefits for ordinary Burmese while maintaining sanctions on the mining and resource sectors that simply exploit Burma's unique natural resources, cause systematic human rights violations, loss of livelihoods and force people from their homes.

Question negatived.