Parliament Needs to Decide If We Go to War - letter published by Dr Sally Attrill, MAPW Branch Convenor, Tasmania
I agree strongly with Lorraine Davie’s letter. It is time Australian legislation is changed so that our Cabinet does not have the power to join us in a war, without approval by parliament, except perhaps in very exceptional circumstances such as a direct attack on Australia.
Most would agree that Australia’s involvement in wars in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan are difficult to justify.
These wars have cost Australian lives and caused on-going health issues for veterans and their families. Many civilians including children have died in those countries. The financial cost to Australia has been high-money which could have been spent on health, education, social services. The threat of terrorism in Australia is increased.
Discussion of possible involvement in war by parliament would allow consideration of the evidence and reasons for going to war,the outcome sought,cost, and the nature and duration of Australian involvement. It is time we make such decisions rationally, particularly with Donald Trump in power.At present it is seems much easier to join a war ,than to withdraw once the truths become more clear.
Dr Sally Attrill
Published in the Mercury, Tasmania - 20 March 2017