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Eye on Zimbabwe: Australia must focus on crisis.



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Senator Vicki Bourne Party Whip and Senator for New South Wales Australian Democrats spokesperson for Foreign Affairs

Senator Andrew Murray Senator for Western Australia

Press Release Dated: 10 Apr 2000 Press Release Number: 00197amvb Portfolio: Foreign Affairs 

Eye on Zimbabwe: Australia must focus on crisis The Australian Democrats will continue to encourage the Federal Government actions to assist in resolving the crisis in Zimbabwe, according to Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Senator Vicki Bourne and Western Australian Democrats’ Senator, Andrew Murray.

Today in the Senate, Senator Murray asked the government if it supports the European Union, American and British position concerning Zimbabwe and whether it will assist in the preservation of the commercial agricultural sector, restoration of the rule of law and fair elections.

“It is right and just the Australian Government has advised the Zimbabwean Government that it seeks to have the land issue resolved peacefully and with respect for the rights of all Zimbabweans,” Senator Bourne said.

“I concur with Senator Hill’s statement that, whilst the issue of land ownership is sensitive, we don’t believe in any way that it justifies the illegal occupation of farms, or confiscation without compensation. In this matter I urge the Zimbabwean Government to enforce and obey the rule of law,” she said.

According to Senator Murray, Zimbabwe feeds itself and has a strong agricultural export industry.

“Taking white commercial farms out of commercial production and into subsistence farming is economically dangerous,” Senator Murray said.

“There are hundreds of thousands of Zimbabwean farm workers and peasants living on those commercial farms already. This move seems to be more about politics and race than about land redistribution.”

He also queried the Australian government’s progress in the development of

a contingency plan for offering assistance to potential Zimbabwean refugees.

“The Australian Government must look at the possibility that hundreds of Zimbabweans could become refugees. With so many having relatives in Australia, it is an issue Australia must be prepared for,” Senator Murray said.

“I await further government advice as to what, if any, plans it has in place, to offer assistance to the Zimbabwean people.”

 

Top | Email Authorised by: Jim Downey, 10 Brisbane Avenue, Barton ACT 2604. Copyright © 2000 Australian Democrats

http://www.democrats.org.au/media/display.htm Last modified: Thu, 09 Mar 2000 14:37:46 Today: Wed, 12 Apr 2000 12:21:29