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Thursday, 22 November 2012
Page: 9499


Senator STEPHENS (New South Wales) (12:17): I move the motion as amended:

That the Senate—

(a) welcomes the ceasefire between Hamas and Israel and urges all sides to adhere to it;

(b) commends Egypt's leadership role in brokering this agreement, supported by the efforts of the United States, the United Nations Secretary-General and other regional countries;

(c) supports a two state solution to the Israeli Palestinian conflict - a solution based on the right of Israel to live in peace within secure borders internationally recognised and agreed by the parties and reflecting the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people to also live in peace and security within their own state;

(d) condemns the terrorist attack on a bus in Israel on 21 November 2012, which injured more than 20 people, and expresses sympathy to those affected by the attack; and

(e) calls for any public demonstrations or rallies in Australia to be peaceful, and not target private businesses or individuals.

I seek leave to make a short statement.

The PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for one minute.

Senator STEPHENS: I just want to respond to the comments made earlier about lack of consultation. As the minister said yesterday, he has had a general view that a uniform, unanimous motion from this parliament was the preferred position. Work has been going on, and of course we have all followed the details of what has been going on overnight and the achievement of a ceasefire. This motion, as amended, now reflects the current situation. I apologise to the opposition if the process was not actually as they had expected.