This July marks 10 years since the International Court of Justice handed down its advisory opinion on the legal consequences of the construction of Israel's wall in the occupied Palestinian territory. The court determined that the wall and all Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank are illegal, and that the fourth Geneva Convention applies to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in full. The Parliamentary Friends of Palestine hosted a forum yesterday commemorating the 10th anniversary of the ICJ, and our guest speaker was Professor Ben Saul from the University of Sydney. This event was timely, given the tragic situation in Gaza at the moment. It is devastating that Israel has decided to resume air strikes in the Gaza Strip following the collapse of the very short-lived ceasefire. Tragically for the people in Gaza, the eight-day conflict has already killed almost 200 Palestinians, 100 of whom were civilians, amongst them 31 children. With Hamas militants defying Arab and Western calls to cease rocket attacks, and with Israel threatening to step up an offensive that could include an invasion of this most densely populated enclave, it is imperative that both sides should now show restraint in what is a devastating blow to peace prospects and what is also a predictable, disproportionate and cruel attack on the Palestinians in Gaza.
In light of the disappointing developments in the Senate on Tuesday night, which saw the Palmer United Party assist the government senators to scrap important financial advice regulations, I want to highlight the case of a constituent in my electorate whose life has been turned upside down as a result of rogue financial advisor and, in doing so, highlight the value of the Labor government's reforms to the financial sector that have now been scrapped.Bernard Kelly came to my office last week to describe to us the ongoing heartache he is suffering in the wake of the collapse of Timbercorp.
He is not alone. There are thousands of Australians who have lost their hard-earned life savings, homes, and, most distressingly, in some cases, lives as a result of poor and even corrupt financial advice. We have heard some of these stories during the debate on the FoFA reforms, during the Senate inquiry last week and during discussions in light of the Murray inquiry. The details of one person's suffering can never fail to move us or remind us why we are fighting for proper consumer protection and why we need to continue to fight for it.