Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 4 Hansard (1 April) . . Page.. 1159 ..
MR CORBELL (continuing):
Mr Speaker, I am sure you will agree that the above is a comprehensive program which reinforces the government's commitment to ongoing consultation with the Gungahlin community on the issue of the development of the Gungahlin town centre-and that it will ensure that the town centre's expansion is carried out in close contact with the community, and provide the opportunity for community concerns to be addressed.
War in Iraq
MR STANHOPE (Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for Community Affairs and Minister for the Environment) (3.58): I seek leave of the Assembly to make a ministerial statement concerning the war in Iraq.
MR STANHOPE: Mr Speaker, I rise today to express, in the strongest terms possible, my opposition to the war in Iraq.
I also express my immense sorrow-sorrow at the tragic loss of life, sorrow at the trampling, by the great democracies of the world, of the United Nations-the very institution we entrusted to uphold global peace, and sorrow at the fact that, for the first time in our history, Australia has acted as an aggressor in a war.
Mr Speaker, on 19 February the Legislative Assembly passed a motion calling on the federal government to oppose the proposed war in Iraq and to immediately withdraw our troops from the Middle East. Sadly, but not surprisingly, the federal government ignored our call and Australia became a party to this war last month.
As was required by the motion, however, I conveyed the resolution of the Assembly to the Prime Minister, to all federal politicians, the UN, including the United Nations Security Council, the President of the United States and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
Mr Speaker, I have had some very interesting and, indeed quite moving, responses to my letter, and I table those responses. The Leader of the Federal Opposition, Simon Crean, said:
Prime Minister Howard has committed Australia to war. The decision was reckless, unnecessary, illegal and wrong. War should always be a last resort. The weapons inspectors were making progress. They should have been allowed to finish their jobs...
Australia should not have become part of the Coalition of the Willing. Instead, we should have worked through the UN to disarm those rogue states who possess weapons of mass destruction, and uphold the rule of international law.
Labor supports the disarmament of Iraq. We support our troops. But we do not support the war.