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Thursday, 24 February 2011
Page: 1417

Ms JULIE BISHOP (1:55 PM) —by leave—The situation in Libya remains grim and chaotic. The final outcome remains uncertain and unpredictable. We join with the international community in fearing that the brutal response of Colonel Gaddafi may well continue. The Libyan government has forfeited its right to govern the people of Libya. In particular, Colonel Gaddafi has failed in his fundamental responsibility, as the leader of his people, to protect his people. We note that the United Nations has issued a strongly worded condemnation against the Libyan government, and we support that condemnation. It now appears, from the statement of the Minister for Foreign Affairs, that Australian citizens have been caught up in the chaos that is occurring in Libya. We support the government’s efforts to ascertain the current status of all Australian citizens. In the case of citizens who have reportedly been detained, we certainly support the government’s attempts to provide whatever consular assistance they are able to at this time. We appreciate the foreign minister’s efforts to keep us informed.