16th November 2023 18:00
Victorian Legislative Council, Melbourne

David ETTERSHANK (Western Metropolitan) (18:00): (602)

My adjournment matter is for the Premier, and the action I seek is for her to advocate to the Australian government for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and the West Bank. The criminal, sadistic attacks and kidnappings perpetrated by Hamas are nearly impossible for us to contemplate. But what is equally hard to contemplate is the brutal retaliation by Israel in response to the attack, its massacre of Gazan civilians having continued unabated for 41 days now.

We have seen over 10,000 Palestinians killed, more than 4000 of them children, many more injured and more than a million civilians driven from their homes. Let us try and imagine, if you would, the reality of life in Gaza today. We can start by picturing an area about a quarter of the size of the city of Geelong, with a population, however, of 2 million people.

That is a lot of people in a very small space, and they are fenced in by high walls and watchtowers and hundreds of miles of razor ribbon. Food, water, medical supplies, electricity and sewerage have been cut off. You have been told to flee but there is nowhere to escape to, and there is little or no fuel to get there anyway. Thousands of bombs and artillery shells are being rained upon this small space every day, accompanied by increasingly intense ground assaults.

This is what is happening in Gaza now. These Israeli actions against a civilian population are collective punishment. It is a war crime, and it is a genocide unfolding in front of our eyes. In the face of this situation, there is but one clear priority: an immediate ceasefire. While this conflict may seem far away and removed from the concerns of many of our constituents, we have a moral obligation to use our platform as members of Parliament.

So I urge the Premier to advocate to the Australian government to call for an immediate ceasefire and an end to the siege of Gaza. Australia is a part of the international community, and we cannot continue to be mere bystanders while this relentless carnage continues.

Written Answer
Received: 22 April 2024
Hon Jacinta Allan MP

What has unfolded in the Middle East is deeply distressing for many in Victoria and it is important that we maintain respect for each other, reaffirming that Victoria stands together, with your communities, against hate speech and violent extremism.

I note that since this Adjournment Matter was raised, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator the Hon. Penny Wong, has called for a ceasefire to the conflict and to allow aid to be delivered to civilians in Gaza, and that Prime Minister Anthony Albanese issued a joint statement with the Prime Ministers of Canada and New Zealand calling for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire.


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