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

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 12 Hansard (13 November) . . Page.. 3566 ..

MR HARGREAVES (continuing):

In the process, they perpetrated a massive lie on the Australian public, telling us that forward defence is a great idea-and that we had to go and fight for freedom. Like I said before, I ask you to search your minds. Think of another country that constantly uses the words "freedom"and "fight for"-no. Incidentally, the US is the only country that has in its constitution the right to bear arms.

So, Mr Speaker, I cannot support any unilateral military action on the part of a cartel. I cannot support us slavishly going all the way with George W Bush. I do not want this town of Canberra to be the George W Bush capital. I will not be party to it! I move this amendment because Labor has been an opponent of this sort of action for years and years. Nevertheless, it has been a consistent supporter of these sorts of actions through the United Nations. (Extension of time granted.)

The United Nations decision-resolution 1441-is crystal clear. It requires Iraq to disarm, and gives a timetable for it. If nations who are members of the United Nations want to say, "Okay, get your blue berets on and go in there,"although I do not like it, and I am not going to be happy about it I will go along with it because that is why we signed up to the United Nations conventions. We do not have to like everything they do, but we are part of that process. I do not like it, but that is the way it goes. To echo what Simon Crean says, if those nations take unilateral action, then any approach to the Iraqi problem vis-à-vis a military solution will not have bipartisan support. It will not.

I think I am paraphrasing a very senior member of this place in saying that, if there are demonstrations out in the street, we will be at the front of them-because that is just not on. There is a global process within which we must work. We should be getting in there, trying to make it work. We cannot just say, "They have had 17 goes at it and they have stuffed it. We will march in there, boots and all!"That makes us no better than they are.

Mr Speaker, I commend my amendments to the house, and I signal our support for Ms Dundas' motion.

MR CORNWELL (5.36): I rise, Mr Speaker, to participate once again in this great international debate by the ACT Legislative Assembly. I call it the mouse that roared.

Mr Stefaniak: John can be Peter Sellers.

MR CORNWELL: Yes. I have noticed this, however, Mr Stefaniak: the further from the actual decision-making, the easier it is to find solutions. It is wonderful to sit here in nice, comfortable little Canberra, make rhetorical statements about how dreadful the United States is, and quote various Indian or Sanskrit texts. I notice that Karma Sutra was not mentioned!

It is fine to sit here and make all those comments. The fact of the matter is that it is much easier to do it here. It is easier to stand here and talk about appeasement. That, Ms Tucker, is really what you were on about. No, we will not get involved. We must not get involved. We must seek peace. The world is not like that. With your travel around the world in the past 12 months, you must have seen some of that, Ms Tucker. It is not difficult to ignore it around the world-it is not a peaceful place. It will always be not a peaceful place, no matter how much you might like to dream.

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