Tuesday, 7 February 2023
Australian Defence Force; Order for the Production of Documents
I move general business notices of motion Nos 127 and 128 together:
That there be laid on the table by the Minister representing the Minister for Defence, by no later than Thursday, 9 of February 2023:
(b) advice provided to the Prime Minister in relation to Australia's decision to
deploy members of the ADF into Iraq in March 2003;
(d) all instructions given by the Minister for Defence to senior Department of Defence officials and heads of service in relation to general control and administration of the ADF in 2003.
GENERAL BUSINESS NOTICE OF MOTION NO. 128
That there be laid on the table by the Minister representing the Attorney-General, by no later than Thursday, 9 February 2023:
(a) advice provided to the Governor-General in relation to Australia's decision to deploy members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) into Iraq in March 2003; and
(b) advice provided to the Federal Executive Council in relation to Australia's
decision to deploy members of the ADF into Iraq in March 2003.
The government will not be supporting this motion. It is the longstanding practice of governments not to disclose advice that has been provided to the Governor-General out of respect for that office. Furthermore, the disclosure of advice of this nature would be contrary to Australia's national interests, not least of all because it may prejudice our international relations. A parliamentary committee is currently reviewing how Australia makes decisions to send service personnel into international armed conflict with the terms of reference referred by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence, the Hon. Richard Marles. The Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade will soon be reporting on its inquiry into international armed conflict decision-making.