Inner West Council continues to skirt conversations about humanitarian crisis in Gaza

Inner West Council continues to skirt conversations about humanitarian crisis in Gaza
Image: Greens Councillor Dylan Griffiths. Image: Supplied.



The Inner West Council has failed for a second time to discuss a motion to invite the Australian Palestinian Advocacy Network (APAN) to speak about the ongoing war and humanitarian crisis in Gaza at the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) National General Assembly. 

The motion aimed to have the Inner West Council petition the ALGA to invite APAN to the annual conference and address the assembly about the humanitarian issues currently being faced in Gaza, as well as support for Palestinian community in Australia. 

Greens Councillor Dylan Griffiths initially brought the motion to council in March this year but the debate was postponed until Tuesday’s meeting (9th April). 

However, when the meeting came about this week, the council failed to address the motion again due to time constraints. 

Councillor Griffiths commented that he was disappointed to see the motion bumped for a second time but noted it was in line with Labor’s “lacklustre” response to the crisis. 

During the procedural motion, Councillor Griffiths attempted to pass the item in globo but was blocked again without explanation.  

In response, Councillor Griffiths told City Hub, “I thought [the motion] would be non-controversial and it shouldn’t be.” 

He went on to explain that local governments around the country have set a precedent for calling for a ceasefire in Gaza and have supported representatives from countries like Ukraine, speaking at the ALGA National General Assembly. 

In 2022 Ukrainian Ambassador Vasyl Myroshnychenko spoke to the National General Assembly which led to a motion of Solidarity with Ukraine being passed.   

Previously, the Labor-dominated council stated that foreign affairs are a federal issue and do not fall on local government to be discussed.

Councillor Griffiths has rebuffed this argument, explaining that in regards to the crisis in Palestine – and others like it around the world – local communities are impacted and local government has a role to play in supporting them. 

“We have a role to be a part of the movement for peace. [With] a crisis of this scale, no level of government should say they don’t play a part in it.”

Councillor Griffiths also said that if the council does not review the motion in time, he will write personally to the ALGA to advocate for APAN to speak at the conference. 

At least 29,606 Palestinians have been killed and 69,737 injured in Israeli strikes since 7th October, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.

The World Food Programme has reported “unprecedented levels of desperation” amidst UN reports of 2.2 million people on the brink of famine in Gaza. 

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