Senate debates

Wednesday, 9 September 2015


Australian Defence Force

4:21 pm

Photo of Barry O'SullivanBarry O'Sullivan (Queensland, National Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I seek leave to amend general business notice of motion No. 839 by amending paragraph (c).

Leave granted.

I move the motion as amended:

That the Senate notes:

(a) the important role that Australian service men and women play in humanitarian, disaster relief, peacekeeping and aid provision throughout our region;

(b) that the Australian military’s success on operations is founded in excellence in training and preparation—a large part of this is regular exercises that test our military’s ability to respond to various situations; and

(c) that unlawful disruption of the ongoing training and preparation of our military with exercises that test the crisis-action planning and contingency response capacity of our armed forces, such as Exercise Talisman Sabre and Exercise Hamel, jeopardises the ability of our service men and women to prepare for the challenges they confront in representing our national interests.

Question agreed to.

Photo of Peter Whish-WilsonPeter Whish-Wilson (Tasmania, Australian Greens) Share this | | Hansard source

I seek leave to make a short statement.

Photo of Stephen ParryStephen Parry (President) Share this | | Hansard source

Leave is granted for one minute, Senator Whish-Wilson.

Photo of Peter Whish-WilsonPeter Whish-Wilson (Tasmania, Australian Greens) Share this | | Hansard source

I just wanted to point out to Senator O'Sullivan the irony in this motion: that 70 years ago Australians fought side by side with Americans through the campaign in the Pacific—and we have had a defence relationship ever since. The reason we were fighting alongside American soldiers, as we have in other overseas campaigns, was for democracy, for freedom of speech and for the right to protest. That is why we went to war against regimes that would have supressed the right to freedom of speech. It is ironic that today we have a motion that is attempting to wedge the Greens on whether we support our Defence personnel—and we do support our Defence personnel—while at the same time as they are trying to bash protesters, who have a democratic right to protest for peace. That is why we went to war. (Time expired)