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

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 4 Hansard (1 April) . . Page.. 1177 ..

MR PRATT (continuing):

fleeing civilians. The Chief Minister fails to raise these issues. The Chief Minister fails to exercise balance in his ministerial statement. I support the sentiment and I support his right to talk about these issues. He has raised some good points but he has not done so in a balanced way.

Mr Speaker, I would like to finish by simply saying that it is most important that we continue to support our troops. I raise again the point that comments about seeking to disengage our forces and bring our troops home are simply comforting to the Iraqi regime, and our troops know that. It is also upsetting for the families of our troops to see these types of comments.

Again, I ask the Chief Minister: what the hell is the solution if there is no intervention in Iraq-another 12 years of 2,000 to 4,000 people dying monthly? And what about the weapons of mass destruction which present so much danger to us all? War is horrible, but in this case there is no alternative. We need to be patient, and for now we need to support our troops. Launch into political attacks later when our troops come home, but not now.

At 5.00 pm, in accordance with standing order 34, the debate was interrupted. The motion for adjournment of the Assembly having been put and negatived, the debate was resumed.

MRS CROSS (5.01): I think that, aside from a debate we had last year on another matter, this is probably going to be the most painful matter that we have to discuss in this chamber, simply because it pits people against each other, their ideologies are challenged, and it is not one of those things that we can say is black and white. We all have our passionate position on this.

My position is based on my many years of being married to someone who served in the military, the many years that I served in a number of countries overseas, and, like Mr Pratt, the suffering that I witnessed of the many millions of people who live in very atrocious circumstances. I am not saying that I know it all. I don't. In fact, I wish it was my husband giving this speech because he would do so in a far more articulate way, with far more knowledge, experience and depth than I could. But here goes.

I am going to read from a press release that was issued on Thursday 20 March this year by Dr Ameer Ali, President of the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils. Presumably the release is in the name of all Australian Muslims. The release states:

Today is a sad day for humanity. The Muslim people of Iraq are fodder for the war machines of America and are seen as less than animals to be bombed and killed without mercy.

He continues:

... Muslims in Australia and around the world believe that this is a war against Islam and Muslims and has little to do with the humanitarian concerns of the Iraqi people that Bush and Blair are using ...

The Muslims of Australia join with many hundreds of thousands of Australians to condemn the illegal and immoral invasion by the world's most powerful nations

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