Parliament live: Greens motion for Palestinian statehood voted down by lower house MPs

Adam Bandt, the leader of the Greens, has taken to the floor to move to suspend standing orders to debate his motion that the federal government recognise the state of Palestine.

It comes amid rising political tensions over Australia’s response to the war in Gaza, which have intensified after an Israeli air strike on a makeshift refugee camp killed at least 45 civilians on Sunday night.

Speaking on Wednesday, Mr Bandt urged lower house MPs to support what he described as a “critical step” towards achieving peace in the conflict-ridden region.

“Palestine now because of the scale … and the genocide that we are witnessing is now topping 36,000 people, or 36,000 civilians, who have been slaughtered,” Mr Bandt said.

“A health system has been destroyed. There are mass graves in hospitals. Aid has been blocked. Children are now dying because they did not have enough to eat or drink.

“We are seeing right now a human-engineered famine that is taking a toll on a civilian population that amounts to collective punishment of these people.

“It is time for countries including Australia to step in and do something and just as other countries have made it a priority to recognise the state of Palestine.”

Seconding the motion, Greens housing spokesman Max Chandler-Mather accused Labor politicians of being “complicit” in genocide and accused Australia of supplying arms to Israel.

Assistant Foreign Affairs Minister Tim Watts said the minor party had deliberately set up a vote to “fail”.

“The Greens party had an opportunity to select this motion for debate at an allocated time on Monday but they chose not to,” Mr Watts said.

“The Foreign Minister Penny Wong has made clear statements over the last month about the government’s approach to Palestinian recognition.

“This is the same approach that the Greens are trying to exploit for votes – simplistic, wedge motions in the house that would advance nothing for the cause of peace.”

The vote received 80 noes to five ayes, with independent MP Andrew Wilkie voting with the Greens.

Thousands of Palestinians denied visas

Home Affairs department officials have confirmed less than 40 per cent of Palestinians fleeing violence in the Middle East have been granted entry to Australia per the visa class the government allocated for them.

The Albanese government last year began issuing visitor visas to people escaping Gaza, allowing them to stay in Australia for up to 12 months and apply for protection once they arrive.

Officials revealed 2686 visas had been granted, and 4614 had been refused.

Only 1010 people from the occupied Palestinian Territories have arrived in Australia since October 7,

The revelation came amid questioning from Greens senator David Shoebridge, who noted it was a significant increase since statistics in March.

Officials said it was they had prioritised those with family in Australia.

Senator Shoebridge suggested visas were being denied to people seeking temporary refuge from an alleged genocide.

Labor senator Murray Watt, representing the government in estimates, said the government was obliged to do the necessary checks.

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