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Julian Hill MP to put crucial Motion for Julian Assange to the Australian Parliament this coming Monday 21 June - how you can help

Update, 16 June: (see comment) The House of Representatives Selection Committee has ruled that Julian Hill's motion cannot be put this coming Monday 21 June. That motion will now have to wait almost 7 weeks, until 9 August, in the next (joint - both Senate and House of Representatives) sitting of Parliament, before it can be put and debated!

New important initiative. Labor MP Julian Hill's private motion may finally force Australian parliamentarians to take sides for or against Julian Assange and lead to his being freed. Whether this motion is heard and debated depends on whether the House of Representatives Selection Committee allows it. We urge Australians to contact their local members and each other to get behind Mr Hill's motion, which calls for Assange to be set free from his illegal imprisonment, noting that he is the recipient of many awards for journalism, detained for political reasons through an abuse of power. If the motion is allowed through, then both sides of the house will be obliged to vote or abstain, and the Australian public will finally see what they are made of.

Australia's Parliament must act to end the illegal imprisonment of Julian Assange

On 3 June, Peter Khalil, Labor member for the Melbourne metropoliton seat of Wills, presented to Federal Parliament a petition from one of his constituents on behalf of Australian journalist Julian Assange. The video of Peter Khalil's speech is embedded below.

Both the House of Representatives and the Senate will be sitting this coming fortnight, firstly, on Tuesday 15 June and then the following two days and, secondly, on Monday 21 June and the following three days. Members of the "Bring Julian Assange Home" Parliamentary Group could use these sittings to properly hold to account the Government of Scott Morrison over Julian Assange through a proper debate. They could consider putting to both houses a motion which calls on the Government to act to end the illegal imprisonment of Julian Assange. A motion I have already suggested to members of the group is included below.

How the "Bring Julian Assange Home" group can make the Morrison government act to free Julian or hold it to account for failure to do so

Update:2:10pm, Tue 15 June 2021: I have been contacted by Millie from Andrew Wilkie's Hobart Office. Millie advised me that last year, Andrew Wilkie put on notice a motion a Private Members' Motion in support of Julian Assange.This motion was still not been put. The attached PDF of the motion, and the text of the e-mail from Millie, are included below.

Further Update:2:30pm, Tue 15 June 2021: As I was updating this article, I received an email from Julian Hill, another member of the Support Group. He told me that he has put on notice another motion in support of Julian Assange, and has asked for debate time. I will post the full email shortly.

15 June: Parliamentary discussion limited by collusion between Liberal/National Government & Labor Opposition?

For the past 12 months at least, there has been little effective scrutiny of the abandonment of Julian Assange, and worse, by the Australian government in either the House of Representatives or the Senate. This is because, by the seeming choice of both the Government and the Labor Opposition, those who want to raise the issue of Julian Assange, who are members of the Cross-bench and even those who are members of the governing Liberal and National Parties or the Opposition Labor Party, have only been able to raise this issue through a Private Members Motion (PMM - see below for explanation) which requires a lot of effort on the part of that member and which can still be refused by the Selection Committee. Consequently those who want to speak for Julian Assange on the floor of Parliament can do it in two other ways:

  1. Putting a question to a government minister. As is shown in Greens' Senator Janet Rice's questioning of Foreign Minister Marise Payne on 25 March, the amount of time allowed for the question, the Minister's obfuscation response and discussion about that response, seems to be only two minutes - usually only a fraction of the time necessary to properly discuss most aspects of this issue.
  2. Tabling a petition as shown in Australia's Parliament must act to end the illegal imprisonment of Julian Assange (8/6/21). On this occasion, after Labor member Peter Khalil presented a petition for Julian Assange and spoke for 1 minute and 19 seconds, no member of the Government took the trouble to respond.

Clearly, discussion of such a crucial issue as Julian Assange warrants much more time than the Australian parliamentary duopoly has , so far allowed to occur.

Australia's "Bring Julian Assange Home" group should act now on the floor of our national Parliament

The denial of Julian Assange's liberty in London for almost nine years since June 2012 and, more so, his imprisonment in Belmarsh prison since April 2019 in solitary confinement for 23 hours per day, is against British law and International law. Had the Australian government chosen to use its authority, it could have long ago ended Julian Assange's ordeal, got him out of prison and back to Australia, to be with his two children and their mother Stella Moris.

Instead the Australian government chose variously to do nothing or else to smear Julian Assange.

On 12 April last year a number of Australian parliamentarians began to speak up for Jullian Assange. Some even personally visited Julian Assange in prison. Johnn Shipton, Julian Assange's father puts the number in in the "Bring Julian Assange Home" at 28. [1]

In spite of this sizeable number of members of the support group and in spite of the massive support for Julian Assange in Australia and across the world, the Federal Government has yet to be properly held to account before the Australian people for its abandonment of Julian Assange.

Video: Greens Senator Janet Rice confronts Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne for her failure to act to free Julian Assange

Last Thursday 25 March, during the Senate Estimates Hearing, Greens Senator for Victoria, Janet Rice (pictured left), asked Foreign Minister Marise Payne (pictured right) to explain her failure to act to free Australian journalist Julian Assange from his imprisonment in Belmarsh Prison in London.

Given the very short time allowed for Janet Rice to pursue this issue, she did remarkably well in cutting through Marise Payne's evasions and attempts to obfuscate the issue.

Parliament ignored warning about population growth 10 years ago, to our detriment

Tomorrow it will be exactly 10 years since Kelvin Thomson spoke to the Parliament describing increasing population as the underlying cause of the world’s problems. He listed each of them - global warming, food crisis, water shortages, housing affordability, overcrowded cities, traffic congestion, species extinctions, fisheries collapse, increasing prices, waste, terrorism and war - and described the role that population growth was playing in fuelling them.

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