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Thursday, 9 February 2017
Page: 535

National Security


Mr BANDT (Melbourne) (14:24): My question is to the Prime Minister. The new United States President, Donald Trump, appears to be dangerously unhinged, has a sycophantic relationship with Russian dictator, Vladimir Putin, and is surrounded by Far Right ideologues who seem hell-bent on war, including in our region. So far Australia has followed the United States into every war every time they have asked. Prime Minister, can you understand why Australians are now worried that they may wake up one morning to find that, in a private phone call, you have committed Australia to another American-led war? Given how dangerous Donald Trump is, will you commit to supporting the Greens' bill to require a full and public parliamentary debate and decision before Australia follows the US into their next war?


Mr TURNBULL (WentworthPrime Minister) (14:25): I can imagine no step that would put Australia's national security more at risk than adopting the policies of the Greens. As Theresa May said in the House of Commons, the honourable member is part of a protest movement. I am the leader of a nation. I am standing up for Australia's security. You, the Greens party, would undermine it at every turn. The American alliance is the foundation of our national security. It has been built by millions of Australians and Americans of sacrifice and of standing shoulder to shoulder in every major conflict since the First World War. In the last week, we have seen more recognition and support for the Australian alliance in the United States than we have seen for many years. There were motions proposed in the Congress. We have seen endorsements from cabinet secretaries. We have seen endorsements from leading senators, like John McCain. We have seen front-page headlines and editorials. Americans understand they have no truer ally, no more resolute friend than Australia. We have stood together again and again in freedom's name, in our national interest. And, when we commit our troops to war, when we put our men and women of the ADF in harm's way, we do so when they are well led, well supplied and with every effort to ensure they can return safely home, their duty done, their mission accomplished. But I say to the honourable member: the policies of his party would put this nation at grave risk, and we will not have a bar of them. We are standing for Australia, defending our security, defending our national interests, and whenever we commit our troops we do so in the national interest of Australia. That is our duty. That is the nation we serve.