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Greens call on Labor to help make sure Parliament votes on military deployments

Media Release
Christine Milne 29 Aug 2014

As the situation in Iraq deteriorates, Australian Greens Leader Christine Milne wants to give Parliament the authority to debate and vote on any military deployments, and is calling for Labor's support.

"Unlike many other democratic countries, Australia's military can be deployed overseas without any discussion or decision in the Parliament. This must change," said Senator Milne.

"Of course, all Australians are horrified when they see images of barbaric behaviour and the slaughter of innocent people, but any military response should have a clear objective and a clear understanding of the risks.

"Australians deserve to know if, and why, these dangerous operations are in the national interest and if they can succeed. The Australian parliament must be engaged in the decision.

"I'm calling on the Labor Party to get behind the Greens in calling for a full parliamentary debate and decision. It's not good enough for the Prime Minister to just blindly follow the US into another conflict in Iraq.

"Australians haven't forgotten that tens of thousands of people - civilian and military - died in Iraq, and yet that country is no closer to peace or civil order.

"You have to wonder whether Australia has an independent foreign policy, or if we're going to see Tony Abbott do what John Howard did and just follow the United States.

"Australia must join other democracies that give their parliament a say in whether to put their countries' troops in harm's way.

"The Australian people and their representatives deserve the opportunity to scrutinise the reasons for troop deployment before we blindly follow the US into another Iraq war."


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