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Byron Shire
October 4, 2022

ALP puts war power reform on the agenda

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The Australian Labor Party will hold a public inquiry into how Australia goes to war if elected to government next year.

The party’s national conference has resolved to set up the investigation and report its finding during the 47th Parliament.

‘This is a good step forward on the path to a more democratic and transparent system,’ said Paul Barratt AO, the former Secretary of Defence and President of Australians for War Powers Reform (AWPR).

‘The whole Parliament should decide if we join an overseas war, not just the Prime Minister and a few cabinet colleagues.’

The conference resolution was put forward by Labor MPs Josh Wilson and Julian Hill and follows a similar push under Bill Shorten in 2018.

‘An overwhelming number of Australians – 83% – want Parliament to decide whether our troops are sent into armed conflict abroad,’ said Dr Alison Broinowski AM, Vice-President of Australians for War Powers Reform.


‘Ordinary Australians want their local MPs and Senators to oversee this life and death decision, not just the Prime Minister and a few ministers behind closed doors,’ said Dr Broinowski.

No movement from Morrison

AWPR says the Scott Morrison Government is refusing to remove the current concentration of power.

This is despite strong public support for the move towards parliamentary decision on war, and a push for change from The Greens and several independent MPs and senators.

The ALP Conference resolution says:

‘National Conference resolves that an Albanese Labor Government will refer the issue of how Australia makes decisions to send service personnel into international armed conflict to an inquiry to be conducted by the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence, and Trade. This inquiry would take submissions, hold public hearings, and produce its findings during the term of the 47th Parliament.’

Find out more at Be Sure on War.

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  1. Speed to commit to war is necessary as the first attack will be upon our communications, power and vital assets like ports etc. COVID-19 is a blessing in disguise in that parliament ([instead of the executive committee] which is what we rely on to commit to war) could simply be viewed using technology i.e. ‘Zoom’ to share with the rank & file of government to make a sound and decisive decision as to commitment to war as no one in there right mind wishes to enter any sort of war unless it is absolutely necessary.
    However, I do agree with the USA presidency in that if a decision is necessary due to the collapse of vital asset infrastructure the president has the capability to immediately act.
    So, do we become a republic?

  2. The reform under discussion is about Australia joining foreign wars, not about what to do if Australia is attacked directly.

  3. IS , or is not this country a democrasy ?
    The rank and file of government have prooven to be incapable of the most basic level of civilised conduct. While ” no one in their right mind ” would commit this country to an unjust war, that certainly didn’t stop that insignificant Prrrk , Howard from launching the country into illegally invading Iraq and Afganistan while commiting horrrendous war crimes, and then gaoling the hero,Julian for exposing his criminal
    Actions. We now have the technology to ‘Zoom’ and in a democrasy, we must ALL vote because we cannot trust the idiots im Canberra.
    Cheers, G”)


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