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Wednesday, 3 September 2014
Page: 6374

Senator LUDLAM (Western Australia) (15:49): I seek leave to make a brief statement in response.

Leave granted.

Senator LUDLAM: I fail to understand why the Labor Party and the Liberal-National coalition have come up with this gentleman's agreement to not debate issues that they might find inconvenient. I think that is precisely what this chamber is for. Why you have singled out motions like this as things you would not want to talk about I find, frankly, baffling. Nonetheless, I want to acknowledge that the Australian government has set a policy position that they will not allow uranium shipments to the Russian federation. We do not know what the criteria are. I do not know whether Senator Fifield can explain whether uranium has gone on the formal sanctions list. This underlines the danger of having entered into these agreements in the first place. Uranium is not like other minerals. Supplying uranium to a nuclear weapon state, with President Putin now effectively implying the threat to use these weapons, underlies precisely why we should never have entered into these agreements in the first place.