In response to a question from Greens Deputy Leader Adam Bandt MP, Tony Abbott refused to rule out that he is planning to deploy troops to fight in Iraq and confirmed Parliament will have no chance to debate this matter of highest national importance.
“I asked the Prime Minister a straight question and he refused to rule out that plans are underway to deploy Australian combat troops to fight in Iraq," Mr Bandt said.
"The Prime Minister also confirmed that Parliament would have no chance to debate this matter of highest national importance.
"It looks like the prospect of 'mission creep' is alive and our humanitarian support may morph into military engagement.
"Australia must join other democracies that give their Parliament a say in whether to put their countries' troops in harm's way.
"The Australian people and their representatives deserve the opportunity to scrutinise the reasons for troop deployment and decide whether going to war is in our national interest," said Mr Bandt.
Adam’s question (check against delivery):
“Prime Minister, are you already engaged in mission creep, with talks underway for Australian forces to fight in Iraq?
If you can’t rule this out, will you at least bring the matter here for debate and will you allow a vote on my bill to require Parliamentary approval before troops are deployed?”