Seeking action to support Iranian women and girls

After six weeks of inaction by the Government, today I am moving to initiate a Senate inquiry into Australia’s response to the human rights abuses being perpetrated by Iranian authorities.

The motion to establish an inquiry seeks to quickly and urgently investigate the options available to the Australian Government to hold Iranian authorities accountable for the killing of women, children and protesters over the last six weeks. This inquiry, should it be supported by the Senate, will enable the Foreign Affairs, Defence & Trade References Committee which I Chair to hear from witnesses and experts and make recommendations for action.

I appreciate the support of Senators from right across the chamber who have indicated their support for this urgent inquiry, particularly Senator Jacqui Lambie, who has agreed to co-sponsor the motion.

Importantly, the inquiry will also allow the voices of Iranian-Australians to be heard by the Parliament and the Government. In recent weeks there has been growing frustration in the community that while other nations take action against those responsible for violence and death in Iran, Australia is yet to announce any tangible actions.

It has been more than a month since I first called for Australia to take diplomatic action against Iranian authorities responsible for violence, including by working with other nations to have Iran removed from the UN Commission on the Status of Women. In that time many other options for diplomatic action have been put forward by the community and other nations have enacted sanctions, yet there has been no announcement of action by our Government.

In moving this motion, I continue to urge the Government to make clear what actions it intends to take and to communicate this to the community and the Parliament at the earliest possible stage.


Notice of Motion – lodged Wednesday 26 October

I give notice that on the next day of sitting, I shall move—That—

The following matter be referred to the Foreign Affairs, Defence & Trade References Committee for inquiry and report by 1 December 2022:

The human rights implications of recent violence in Iran, with particular reference to:

a)         The recent violence against women and girls by Iranian authorities;

b)         Opportunities for nations that value human rights to support those being persecuted and oppressed in Iran;

c)         The potential application of sanctions on those responsible for the widespread violence and killing of women, girls and protesters in Iran.

d)         The appropriateness of Iran’s ongoing status on the UN Commission on the Status of Women

e)         Other actions available to the Australian Government and other like-minded nations to respond to human rights abuses in Iran;

f)          Any other related matters.