Page 1198 - Week 04 - Wednesday, 4 May 2022

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video

Ukraine to defend its people. That provision of equipment is both military and humanitarian, and it is all necessary in the current context.

I want to acknowledge that, in preparing this amendment, I have reached out to the Greens party and sought to include in this amendment many of the ideas and suggestions that they put forward, in an endeavour to reach a position that a majority of members in this place could support. I would hope that, amongst the elements of my amendment, the Greens will see many of their ideas and perspectives recognised. But it would appear that there is another amendment circulating that does not contain some elements of my amendment that the Labor Party believes are important to be put on the public record at this time.

Mr Hanson indicated during question time that he would be supportive of this amendment. I thank him for doing so. I believe that it does represent as close as we can possibly get to a consensus position across this parliament at this time. It probably does not give everything that everyone would want or say everything that everyone would want. I understand and acknowledge that. In the current climate, I think it would be impossible to find a form of words that everyone would be 100 per cent happy with. But I am endeavouring to take some of the political heat out of this matter and find a way forward.

I stand by the ACT government’s stated policy in relation to the defence industry. It is clearly part of our economy and will continue to be so into the future. We of course seek to grow and diversify the territory’s economy. I would refer members to a more recent statement on economic development priorities that highlights a range of areas that we will be focusing our endeavours on.

I note that there is often an intersection between different sectors of the economy and their interaction with defence industries, and that there are many companies that operate in what could be viewed as a defence context and also make very significant contributions to research and development and to the manufacturing of equipment that is absolutely fundamental in our response to climate change, in our response to natural disasters and emergencies and in the development of new technologies, particularly as it relates to the fast-growing space industry. It is the government’s view that there is a role in our economy for businesses that operate across those different areas.

I understand and acknowledge that not every member of this place and not every member of the community will be supportive of every single element of activity in the defence sector. That is fair enough. That is what living in a liberal democracy is about. I do not think that means you need to denigrate a whole group of people in our community who are working in those areas. Equally, I do not think it is particularly necessary to seek to score political points around the deeply personal views of individual members of parliament or members of the community in relation to matters of defence, war and peace, and otherwise.

This amendment, I believe, captures the spirit of what Mr Hanson is endeavouring to convey, takes out some of the unnecessary pre federal election rhetoric and presents a sensible way forward. I commend it to the Assembly.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video