Thursday, 7 September 2017
I seek leave to amend general business notice of motion No. 468 standing in my name for today, relating to the persecution of the Rohingya people.
I amend the motion in the terms circulated and ask that it be taken as formal.
It's very disappointing that the government has prevented this motion from being brought on today, because what is happening to the Rohingya people in Myanmar right now is nothing less than a human rights disaster. It's the Greens' view that the Australian government has simply very weakly expressed concern about what is going on, because the Australian embassy put out a statement urging:
… all sides to exercise restraint and respect human rights.
That has echoes of Donald Trump's response to the Nazi rallies in Charlottesville in the United States, and Prime Minister Turnbull has to do better than that. The appalling truth is that we don't know how many Rohingya are being killed. It is vastly more than 400. We've had to amend this motion in real time to reflect what's going on. We have to hold the Myanmar government to account and allow more Rohingya refugees into Australia.
It is a longstanding approach taken by the coalition and Labor governments that complex foreign policy matters should not be dealt with in formal business precisely because they cannot be amended or debated. The Senate should not consider and vote on such significant issues without the ability to have a full debate.
I won't need a minute! We in One Nation can support all of the clauses here except for the last. We oppose violence and we oppose oppression, but that doesn't mean we need to support a system that would encourage more refugees to come here. Anybody who wanted to remove people would simply oppress people, knowing that Australia would open its gates. That is not on. This needs to be defeated.
Senator Cameron interjecting—