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Tuesday, 30 November 2004
Page: 54

Senator GEORGE CAMPBELL (3:45 PM) —I seek leave to make a short statement on behalf of the Leader of the Opposition.

Leave granted.

Senator GEORGE CAMPBELL —Labor cannot support the motion in its current form. Labor are happy to work with the minor parties on notices of motion of this nature. However, on this occasion we needed more time to explore some of the claims made in the proposed motion. We will not rush to support motions in the Senate unless we are completely satisfied with their content. Labor have always been upfront about our policy differences with the Howard government on Iraq. Given the outcome of the federal election, Labor recognise that Australian troops will remain in Iraq into 2005. Labor's policy approach to Iraq for the difficult period ahead is to provide economic, humanitarian and security support for the Iraqi people and to support the interim Iraqi government, through the United Nations. Labor will now consult further with the UN, the incoming US administration and the interim Iraqi government with a view to providing the most effective support through the UN in the critical year ahead.