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Thursday, 12 August 2004
Page: 26261

To the Honourable the President and Members of the Senate in Parliament assembled.

The Petition of the undersigned calls on the members of the Senate to support the Defence Amendment (Parliamentary Approval for Australian Involvement in Overseas conflict) Bill introduced by the Leader of the Australian Democrats, Senator Andrew Bartlett and the Democrats' Foreign Affairs spokesperson, Senator Natasha Stott Despoja.

Presently, the Prime Minister, through a Cabinet decision and the authority of the Defence Act, has the power to send Australian troops to an overseas conflict without the support of the United Nations, the Australian Parliament or the Australian people.

The Howard Government has been the first Government in our history to go to war without majority Parliament support. It is time to take the decision to commit troops to overseas conflict out of the hands of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, and place it with the Parliament.

by Senator Bartlett (from 13 citizens).