Legislative Council: Wednesday, November 15, 2023



The Hon. C. BONAROS (15:05): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the Attorney a question about a motion moved yesterday at Adelaide City Council.

Leave granted.

The Hon. C. BONAROS: Yesterday, Adelaide city councillor Arman Abrahimzadeh moved a motion seeking the council's support to express its sadness at the tragic loss of innocent Israeli and Palestinian lives, and for the Adelaide Town Hall to be lit in the colours of the Palestinian flag—red, black, white and green—amongst other things. It followed the illumination of Adelaide's landmarks—including the Town Hall, Adelaide Oval, the Railway Station and, indeed, this parliament—in the colours of the Israeli flag on 9 October. At the time, the Premier tweeted:

Landmarks around Adelaide are being illuminated in blue and white tonight in solidarity with the State of Israel.

Since 7 October, some eleven and a half thousand Palestinian lives that we know of have been lost, including more than 5,000 Palestinian children and 102 UN aid workers. Dozens and dozens of journalists have also been killed in the current conflict. My questions to the Attorney are:

1. Has his government considered the motion and what does it intend to do in response to the outcome of that motion?

2. Does the South Australian government intend to light up landmarks in solidarity with the Palestinian people, in light of the outcome of the motion that passed yesterday at Adelaide City Council?

3. Does the government appreciate the level of anger and disappointment amongst our Palestinian and Muslim South Australian community members, especially—especially—because no immediate action was taken to show the same solidarity in recent weeks, after thousands and thousands of deaths that continue every day as we watch on?

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Attorney-General, Minister for Industrial Relations and Public Sector) (15:07): I thank the honourable member for her question. I don't think there is a South Australian who looks on at reports of what we are seeing happening in that part of the world, in Israel and in Gaza, and doesn't look on with a sense of horror and helplessness at the so many thousands of unnecessary deaths occurring to innocent people—to men, women and children who are just getting on with their daily lives.

In relation to specific questions that the honourable member has asked about the lighting of monuments, I am pretty sure that is something that the Department of the Premier and Cabinet would handle. There would be a process that would be gone through to decide when that is done and how that is done. In relation to the motion of the Adelaide City Council, I have only heard brief media reports on radio news this morning about that motion, so I will have to inform myself more of those.