Wednesday, 14 February 2018
I move general business notice of motion No. 717 standing in my name for today:
That the Senate—
(a) notes that this week marks the fifteen-year anniversary of over 200 000 people marching in each of Melbourne and Sydney, and 600 000 nationwide, to protest Australia's involvement in the Iraq war; and
(b) supports an independent inquiry into:
(i) the decisions that led to Australia invading Iraq, and
(ii) the conduct of the Australian military operations in Iraq.
There is no need for an inquiry into Australia's contribution to military operations in Iraq. The circumstances in which Australia committed forces to the coalition effort in Iraq are a matter of public record and have been subject to parliamentary inquiry. The Australian Defence Force operates under strict rules of engagement in accordance with domestic and international law.
The opposition will not be supporting this motion. The opposition does not support the call for yet another inquiry into Australia's involvement in the Iraq War. Labor's view on the Iraq War is well known. In 2003, Labor opposed the commitment of troops to the conflict in Iraq without the endorsement of the UN. It was the former Labor government that took the decision to withdraw our combat troops from Iraq in 2008. The circumstances surrounding the decision to commit troops to the Iraq War have been the subject of a number of parliamentary inquiries, particularly in the Senate. The specific issue of the intelligence on weapons of mass destruction has also been the subject of extensive government and parliamentary reviews, including the former Parliamentary Joint Committee on ASIO, ASIS and DSD and the 2004 Flood inquiry into Australian intelligence agencies.