The Press Release from the State Zionist Council of NSW reads:
The Upper House of the NSW Parliament unanimously passed a resolution calling for the release of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit on Thursday, October 22, 2009. The motion was initially brought to the Parliament by MP Chris Hartcher, representative for Terrigal.
The motion was was unanimously supported in the lower house on September 24, after which it was tabled to be debated in the Upper House by MP Mike Gallacher.
The debate did not go without incident. The NSW Green party, though it did not oppose the resolution in its entirety, proposed amendments to the motion that called for the parallel release of Palestinian captives held in Israel. These amendments were debated by parliamentarians in the Upper House until debate was postponed for Question Time at noon. When debate on the motion resumed in the afternoon session, the amendments were heavily voted against by all other parties in the Upper House. The original resolution was then put to the floor and passed without opposition at 4pm—after their amendments were defeated the Green party voted in favour of the original resolution.
The motion, in part, read:
“that this House: (1) notes with concern that Gilad Shalit has been held in isolated captivity by Hamas since 25 June 2006; (2) condemns Hamas for its inhumane treatment of Gilad Shalit and calls upon it to immediately allow Red Cross access; and (3) calls upon the Australian Government and all men and women of goodwill to work for the release of Gilad Shalit.”
The vote marked a major victory for the State Zionist Council of NSW, the Zionist and pro-Israel community in NSW, and supporters of Gilad Shalit everywhere.
Directors and representatives from the State Zionist Council of NSW, the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, EJAJ, StandWithUs Australia, the Australasian Union of Jewish Students, and the Shalom Institute were all present and keenly observed the proceedings.
Congratulations to the NSW Parliament, The State Zionist Council of NSW, and all concerned. Hopefully this positive message will be loudly heard.