Luke Howarth on war powers reform

by Staff Writers | Oct 21, 2022 | War Powers Reform

A spokesperson for Liberal National Party of Queensland MP Luke Howarth told MWM that “Mr Howarth supports the Executive Government making that decision – Cabinet, not Parliament. He supports status quo arrangements.”

Mr Howarth gave a more lengthy opinion on the issue in an interview with ABC Radio Brisbane in 2021:

Presenter: “I’m keen to get your view on the debate that was put in the senate by the Greens on on war powers. The suggestion is that both houses of parliament need to debate any war that Australia gets involved with or goes to, or starts, prior to declaring it. At the moment the cabinet and the prime minister can do this, but the suggestion is that war powers need to be given to the parliament as a whole and only after being debated by both chambers. As someone who’s got children in the ADF, how do you feel about this?

Luke Howarth: I don’t want the Greens making decisions on anything that my kids are involved with, to tell you the truth. I don’t support that at all … I think that the appropriate process is in place. There’s the executive government of the day that’s elected for a three-year term. Australians get to decide every three years at the national level whether they want that government to continue, and the cabinet …. decide on those decisions. Then you also have the national security committee, which is … the top five or so ministers with the chief of the defense force, our intelligence agencies, foreign affairs, and others that decide on that. Now putting that into context with the United States, where you’ve got a president and a commander-in-chief – one person that decides whether they go to war – I think the Australian model works pretty well … The government of the day makes that decision and they’re accountable to the people every three years on that, so I support that decision …  I think the cabinet process works well, so I’m not in favor of changing it.

Presenter: In spite of the the most recent conflicts Australia followed the United States into?
Luke Howarth:  Well, that’s a different question all together. You’re asking me  in hindsight whether those conflicts were right or wrong
Presenter: There was massive opposition before we went into them and there was huge opposition here and around the world.
Luke Howarth: Not so much for Afghanistan but i think there definitely was for Iraq and I wasn’t in parliament at the time right so I can’t really comment, but I do hear what you’re saying and ultimately the prime minister of the day is responsible. As I said, the US has one person basically deciding it: the president. So i think it’s a pretty good process that’s served us well here in Australia and it shouldn’t be changed lightly.





More War Power responses

Staff Writers

Staff Writers

Staff writers who have worked on one or more of our special investigative projects include Zacharias Zsumer (War Powers), Stephanie Tran, Tasha May and Luke Stacey.

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