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War Powers Inquiry fails – Not genuine transparency

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Media Release 31 March 2023

The parliamentary report released today on War Powers has failed to recommend the genuine reform many in the community expect.

“The first recommendation confirms our worst fears – it reaffirms the status quo by insisting that decisions regarding armed conflict are fundamentally up to the PM and the executive,” said Dr Alison Broinowski AM, President of Australians for War Powers Reform (AWPR)

“This means that MP’s and Senators will continue to have no right to vote on a war decision before troops are sent overseas.”

“In effect this means that the Prime Minister and a small group of ministers will still make the decisions just as John Howard did in 2003 with his ‘captain’s call’ on going to Iraq”,

“This inquiry has made these recommendations despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of submissions favoured giving MPs a vote. There were 94 submissions in favour out of a total of 111 submissions.”

“While some of the recommendations are welcome, such as the requirement that parliament must be given a statement of compliance with international law about military action, such advice is not much use if parliamentarians are only ‘consulted’.”

“The sad fact is that even if the Albanese government accepted all of the committee’s recommendations, Australia could still be sent to a “war of choice” overseas and our elected representatives – MPs and Senators, would have almost no say.”

“AWPR had great hopes that after more than a decade of coalition rule the new Abanese government would bring progressive change to defence and foreign affairs. But today’s decision, along with the AUKUS agreement and the decision to spend an obscene amount of money on nuclear submarines, have well and truly dashed those hopes.”

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. The Hon Alastair Nicholson AO RFD KC

    A disgraceful and pathetic report that would have been an insult to the late Paul Barratt

  2. Gordon Flint

    The report’s findings are symptomatic of the general malaise within our society and govts concerning war . The world PEACE is never mentioned —- not on Anzac Day , Remembrance Day or hardly any other day. We are still a limpet for the USA . Even after the report in the UK that found the Iraq War was illegal , not many Australians are aware of this .Until this country finds some backbone and starts to assert itself diplomatically in our region for PEACE , then we will continue to be a pawn for the USA .

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