In a remarkable Senate vote, the Government and the Opposition have voted down a Greens motion:
That, in the opinion of the Senate, the following is a matter of urgency:
The pressing need for Australia to confirm a date for the safe return of Australian troops from Afghanistan.
"The Opposition provided one speaker, defence spokesperson David Johnston, who spoke for less than three minutes in the one-hour debate. All sides expressed condolences for the family and friends of the three Australian soldiers killed on Saturday," Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown said today.
"The Senate has voted that while issues such as Paid Parental Leave (16 March 2010), Climate Change (22 November 2010) and Indigenous Health Services (18 November 2009) are urgent or important, setting a date for our troops to come home is not!"
"I doubt that this Parliament has ever debated less, and so neglected its responsibilities, to troops serving in a war on behalf of this nation," Senator Brown said.