Senator Joe Ludwig – in response to Abetz’s motion denouncing BDS, expressed opposition to boycott calls

photo of Senator Joseph Ludwig
May 11, 2011

The government has a longstanding practice of not dealing with complex foreign policy matters through Senate motions. The government does not support boycotts that impede legitimate trade between states and has expressed its strong opposition to the Marrickville council’s earlier proposed boycotts, disinvestment and sanctions campaign against Israel.

Full speech

Senator LUDWIG (QueenslandMinister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Manager of Government Business in the Senate and Minister Assisting the Attorney-General on Queensland Floods Recovery) (15:47): I seek leave to make a short statement on the motion.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for two minutes.

Senator LUDWIG: It is one of those matters which is a longstanding foreign affairs issue. The government has a longstanding practice of not dealing with complex foreign policy matters through Senate motions. The government does not support boycotts that impede legitimate trade between states and has expressed its strong opposition to the Marrickville council’s earlier proposed boycotts, disinvestment and sanctions campaign against Israel.

The motion moved by the Senator Abetz does appear to be more concerned with politics than expressing support for Israel. I ask Senator Abetz if he would care to explain to the Senate why at the last federal election the Liberal Party directed preferences to Greens candidates in New South Wales, in particular why the Liberal Party directed preferences to Sam Byrne, the Greens candidate for Grayndler, which covers Marrickville council. But without turning this into the politics that Senator Abetz has expressed, the longstanding practice really highlights the issue that I have indicated—that is, they are complex foreign policy matters and on that basis it has been long practice that we do not support this motion.

Link to parliamentary Hansard

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