Abbott ramps up war talk

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has cranked up his rhetoric to prepare Australians for a possible intervention in Iraq, claiming the radical Islamic State was near to "pure evil".

The warning came as two WA Labor MPs broke ranks to claim the Government was using the Iraq crisis to shift the public's attention from the troubled Budget.

The Government has confirmed RAAF Super Hornet jet fighters could join a US-led coalition to bomb IS fighters in northern Iraq.

Mr Abbott told Parliament the US had not formally approached Australia to contribute jets, but his Government stood ready to take part if the circumstances were right.

"No one in this Parliament would wish to stand by and watch the preventable slaughter of innocent people," Mr Abbott said.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has been mostly bipartisan on the issue, but is demanding to be fully briefed once details of any deployment are finalised.

But Fremantle MP Melissa Parke, a former United Nations lawyer, said the Government should be going to the UN to get an international agreement to protect civilians in Iraq, not teaming with the US for another war.

"Look how successful the last coalition of the willing was," Ms Parke said.

"Rather than trying to persuade Australians about the merits of what is a dreadful Budget, they are shifting the focus to what they see as their natural advantage, which is creating fear in the community."

Rookie WA Labor senator Sue Lines was disciplined by Mr Shorten after she accused Mr Abbott of whipping up fears about terrorism.

"It (the Government) is hyping it up. It's invented the term Team Australia, you're either in the team or you're out of the team," she said.

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison said Senator Lines was a "muppet".

The West Australian

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