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Thursday, 2 December 2021
Page: 11413


Mr WILKIE (Clark) (16:14): I'm acutely aware that there are only minutes left for this parliament this year, but there's one very notable Australian who has not been mentioned this afternoon, and I seek to remedy that. I seek leave to move:

That the House:

(1) notes that:

(a) Walkley Award winning Australian journalist, Mr Julian Assange, remains incarcerated in HMP Belmarsh in the United Kingdom, despite a British Court earlier this year finding that Mr Assange could not be extradited to the United States of America for health reasons;

(b) the US continues to pursue Mr Assange and has recently been back in court in the UK appealing the earlier decision to refuse the extradition;

(c) the reason for the US's determination to extradite Mr Assange is limited to Wikileaks' exposes in 2010 and 2011 of US war crimes and other misconduct in Iraq and Afghanistan, and in Guantanamo Bay, including the release of the 'Collateral Murder' video in which a US helicopter in Iraq gunned down innocent civilians including journalists;

(d) recent revelations in the media show the Central Intelligence Agency developed plans to abduct and assassinate Mr Assange; and

(e) the continuing incarceration of Mr Assange, and any extradition to the US, would not only be a grave injustice but a severe threat to his health and life; and

(2) calls on the Prime Minister to:

(a) speak directly with his counterparts in the US and UK to bring an end to this madness, including the US dropping all charges against Mr Assange and the UK allowing his immediate release; and

(b) commit to not allow the extradition of Mr Assange to the US from Australia.

Leave not granted.

Mr WILKIE: I move:

That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent the member for Clark from moving the following motion immediately—That the House:

(1) notes that:

(a) Walkley Award winning Australian journalist, Mr Julian Assange, remains incarcerated in HMP Belmarsh in the United Kingdom, despite a British Court earlier this year finding that Mr Assange could not be extradited to the United States of America for health reasons;

(b) the US continues to pursue Mr Assange and has recently been back in court in the UK appealing the earlier decision to refuse the extradition;

(c) the reason for the US's determination to extradite Mr Assange is limited to Wikileaks' exposes in 2010 and 2011 of US war crimes and other misconduct in Iraq and Afghanistan, and in Guantanamo Bay, including the release of the 'Collateral Murder' video in which a US helicopter in Iraq gunned down innocent civilians including journalists;

(d) recent revelations in the media show the Central Intelligence Agency developed plans to abduct and assassinate Mr Assange; and

(e) the continuing incarceration of Mr Assange, and any extradition to the US, would not only be a grave injustice but a severe threat to his health and life; and

(2) calls on the Prime Minister to:

(a) speak directly with his counterparts in the US and UK to bring an end to this madness, including the US dropping all charges against Mr Assange and the UK allowing his immediate release; and

(b) commit to not allow the extradition of Mr Assange to the US from Australia.

Speaker, there's no time for a rousing speech. Can I simply say there is genuinely an urgent need to suspend the standing orders and deal with this motion because as we sit here an Australian citizen, an Australian journalist, is literally rotting in Belmarsh prison in London and could well die there. And if he is extradited to the US, to lifetime imprisonment in a high-security supermax jail, he will certainly die there. Thank you.