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

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 1 Hansard (19 February) . . Page.. 268 ..

Mr Wood: It'll fix it! Absolutely! It's the answer!

MR ACTING DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! Mr Pratt has the floor.

MR PRATT: I remind the Assembly again that 500,000 Iraqis have died at Saddam's hand over the last 12 to 14 years, including lots of up to 100,000 on at least two occasions. Conservatively speaking, 2,000 to 3,000 Iraqis have died monthly over this period. Australia's contribution is morally important. A presence helps to add some weight to the UN sanctions, and we have an important role to play in that.

In response to an earlier comment tonight about predeployment, Western military forces-and Eastern military forces, for that matter-always predeploy months ahead of an operation so that they can acclimatise, settle in with their allied forces and learn compatibility. That is a pretty fundamental tenet.

Saddam is a past master at brinkmanship, and he continues to play a cat-and-mouse game. In some people's views he is actually being coached by certain superpowers on how to push that brinkmanship. I remind you that the Russians still have an $8 billion series of debts that they seek to recover from Iraq, so they have very strong interests in that country. The French have had $3.5 billion worth of programs of exports over the last decade, including weaponry.

If we are talking about bringing this thing to an end to solve the misery and suffering of Iraqis and bring stability to the Middle East, a damn solution has got to be put on the table. I do not see any solution being offered here tonight, so I return to the original point.

For those who promote simply going on the way we have been going on and simply exercising and supporting the idea of so-called "containment", this means that Iraqis will continue to suffer and die in far greater numbers than what some people allege will be the civilian casualties that may occur-horrible as that thought is.

Question put:

That Mr Smyth's amendment be agreed to.

The Assembly voted-

	Ayes 6  			Noes 9

 Mrs Burke  Mr Stefaniak  	Mr Berry  	Ms MacDonald
 Mr Cornwell     		Mr Corbell  	Mr Quinlan
 Mrs Cross     			Ms Dundas  	Ms Tucker
 Mr Pratt       		Ms Gallagher  	Mr Wood
 Mr Smyth      			Mr Hargreaves  
Question resolved in the negative.

Amendment negatived.

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