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Julian Hill

Will Australia's Parliament ever allow a debate on Julian Assange?

Update, Wed 11 August: I have submitted the included Open Letter to Prime Minister Scott Morrison as an attached PDF file through his "Contact Your PM" form at https://www.pm.gov.au/contact-your-pm. What you can do: Contact Scott Morrison, your local MP and your state Senators and tell them that you think it is about time Julian Assange was properly debated on the floor of our Parliament.

Whilst millions around the world have been protesting for Julian Assange almost nothing has been said for years on the floor of the Parliament of the country of which Julian is a citizen - Australia. This is not because Julian Assange has no support in Parliament. In fact, the "Bring Julian Assange Home" has 26 members. But arcane parliamentary procedural rules have, so far, made it impossible for those 26 supporters of Julian Assange to put his case to the floor of our Parliament. Twice so far, in June and again in August, the Parliamentary Selection Committee has prevented Julian Hill from putting to Parliament his motion (see below) in support of Julian Assange.

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.

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