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Tuesday, 20 June 2017
Page: 4366

Senator GALLAGHER (Australian Capital TerritoryManager of Opposition Business in the Senate) (16:11): I seek leave to make a short statement.

The PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for one minute.

Senator GALLAGHER: Labor denied formality to this motion as it is a foreign policy motion that deals with matters that are complex and contested. We believe it is not suitable for determination by the Senate without the opportunity for proper debate. Labor is deeply concerned by the Saudi Arabian-Yemeni conflict, including reports of attacks on civilian schools and hospitals. Labor condemns all violence and urges both parties to de-escalate the conflict and resume negotiations consistent with UN Security Council resolution 2216.

In addition to the conflict situation, Labor is also deeply concerned by both the famine and the recent cholera outbreak in Yemen. The World Food Program reports that 17 million Yemenis, or 60 per cent of the population, are food insecure and that the level of hunger and hardship faced by the current population is unprecedented in Yemen. The cholera epidemic is also of unprecedented proportions and is rapidly spreading, with the UN estimating that 130,000 people have been infected and almost 1,000 people have died since April.

The PRESIDENT: That concludes the discovery of formal business.