Joint Media Statement: Nelson Mandela

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THE HON BILL SHORTEN MP

LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION

MEMBER FOR MARIBYRNONG


THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP

DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION

SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

MEMBER FOR SYDNEY 

STATEMENT -  NELSON MANDELA

On behalf of the Federal Opposition, we pay tribute to Nelson Mandela, unarguably one of the greatest global figures of our time.

Today we have lost a light of our world.

In fractious and troubled times, Mandela led his nation out of the dark age of apartheid – not with a violent struggle, but with peace, compassion and a force of moral leadership.

Mandela knew his country could never be healed with violence or vengeance. He suffered so his people could be free.

Mandela was a true leader, a statesman, and the defining symbol of reconciliation.

He achieved perhaps more than any other leader in his pursuit of peace, acceptance and justice.

The slow struggle for reconciliation does not end today – not for South Africa, and not for any of us.

Let today renew our resolve for reconciliation. Mandela was an example to the world – we must live by that example.

Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, his country, and all who looked to him in hope for a better world.

We are better because of Mandela. May he rest in peace.

FRIDAY, 6 DECEMBER 2013

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Media Release: ABBOTT GOVERNMENT CUTS FUNDING TO GLOBAL FIGHT AGAINST AIDS, TUBERCULOSIS AND MALARIA

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The Hon Tanya Plibersek MP

Deputy Leader of the Opposition

Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Development

 MEDIA RELEASE

ABBOTT GOVERNMENT CUTS FUNDING TO GLOBAL FIGHT AGAINST AIDS, TUBERCULOSIS AND MALARIA

Today, the Abbott Government started to show where the harsh axe will fall in their cuts to international aid funding.

In Washington DC, countries from around the world are currently gathered to pledge their financial support for the future work of the Global Fund to fight against AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria.

This year, the Australian contribution to the Global Fund is at the historic high of $100 million.

Today’s announcement cuts Australia’s contribution to $200 million over three years - an average of around $67 million per year.

Tony Abbott has failed to deliver the $375 million contribution expected of Australia to replenish the Global Fund – an international financing institution established to dramatically increase resources for the fight against the three pandemics.

The Abbott Government has fallen $175 million short on Australia’s contribution.  Instead of the $125 million a year expected, the Abbott Government will only give about half.

The cut comes as countries on Australia’s doorstep continue to battle against the three pandemics.

The Abbott Government was forced to reveal the cut today following Labor’s calls to maintain Australia’s strong support for the Global Fund.

Australia has been associated with the Global Fund for many years, under both Labor and Coalition Governments.

3 DECEMBER 2013

CANBERRA 

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Media Release: AUSTRALIA’S CONTRIBUTION TO THE GLOBAL FUND TO FIGHT AIDS, TUBERCULOSIS, AND MALARIA

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THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP

DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION

SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
MEMBER FOR SYDNEY

MEDIA RELEASE

AUSTRALIA’S CONTRIBUTION TO THE GLOBAL FUND TO FIGHT AIDS, TUBERCULOSIS, AND MALARIA

The Abbott Government needs to confirm immediately that Australia will continue to be a strong contributor to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria.

The Coalition is ripping $4.5 billion out of Australia’s international aid budget. But Tony Abbott won’t tell Australians, or the international community, where the axe will fall.

Mr Abbott’s cuts to international aid must not be allowed to compromise the important work of the Global Fund in fighting AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria in developing countries, including some of Australia’s nearest neighbours such as Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and Timor-Leste.

Since 2002, with Australia’s help, the Global Fund’s more than US$22.4 billion of programs in around 150 countries have saved an estimated 8.7 million lives by providing anti-retroviral treatment for people living with HIV, and tuberculosis treatment for 9.7 million people.

Around 21 per cent of the Global Fund’s grants are directed to Asia and the Pacific.

These grants have resulted in more than 500,000 people on lifesaving HIV treatment; 46 million insecticide-treated bed nets distributed; and the treatment of 6.6 million cases of tuberculosis.

In 2013 alone, a commitment by the former Labor Government saw Australia give $100 million to the Global Fund – the largest contribution our country has ever made in a single year.

The Global Fund is an international financing institution established in 2002 to dramatically increase resources for the fight against the three pandemics. It is a partnership between government, civil society, the private sector, and affected communities.

TUESDAY, 3 DECEMBER 2013

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Transcript: Today Show 29 November 2013

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THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP

DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION

SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
MEMBER FOR SYDNEY

 

 

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

TODAY SHOW, CHANNEL 9

FRIDAY, 29 NOVEMBER 2013

SYDNEY

 

Subject/s: Qantas, NBN, GrainCorp sale, schools’ funding.

 

Karl Stefanovic: Well joining us now to discuss this [Qantas] and the rest of the week in politics is Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull, morning Malcolm.

Malcolm Turnbull: Morning.

Stefanovic: And Deputy Opposition Leader Tanya Plibersek.  Nice to have you in the studio this time.

Tanya Plibersek: It’s a pleasure.

Stefanovic: And sorry for cutting you off this time. Malcolm, let's start with Qantas. Are you prepared to remove the foreign ownership component cap on the company? Are you prepared to guarantee the debt?

Turnbull: Well these are all matters that are going to be considered. I think everyone's in favour of Qantas remaining very much an Australian company but Alan Joyce has a very good point in this sense, that he is fighting against - his competitors are, for the most part, state-owned airlines that are heavily subsidised one way or another by their governments so Qantas really is battling. And Virgin, its domestic competitor and of course an international competitor too, is largely owned by state-owned airlines. So it is a real battle for Qantas.

Stefanovic: If it is the case that you say the majority of people want to hold onto it as an Australian company, Transport Minister Warren Truss reckons Qantas can't expect to have taxpayers bankroll the debt guarantee so there is divisions even within your own party on where to go.

Turnbull: There's no division at all. I mean Warren's expressed a point of view there but this is something that we will consider as a Cabinet when we hear what Alan Joyce actually is going to put to us. He's had discussions with a number of ministers including Warren including me, including Joe obviously and we'll look at that collectively and come to a decision.

Stefanovic: Tanya, you supported Qantas in general but you stopped short of bankrolling as well?

Plibersek: Well we need to know specifically what the proposal is before we can start commenting. At the moment we've heard a few thought bubbles from what was supposed to be a private meeting from Joe Hockey. But I've got to say, my dad worked for Qantas for 21 years and I'm pretty attached to it as an Australian brand. I think most people, when they get onto a Qantas plane love the feeling of hearing Australian accents, knowing that the maintenance record, because it's done here in Australia is so high. There's a really very strong attachment.

Stefanovic: Would you support if you're able to give a debt guarantee, would you support that in place of equity?

Plibersek: Look, we need –

Stefanovic: Wouldn't that be a reasonable outcome?

Plibersek: We need to see specific proposals. I'm not going to start speculating about what they’re proposing.

Stefanovic: Malcolm, is that something you would support?

Turnbull: These are all things that can be considered but as we all know, as Tanya knows, these are matters that we consider collectively as a Cabinet and we'll have those discussions there.

Stefanovic: And the other side of it is, as Ross Greenwood pointed out before, how long do you keep propping up businesses?

Turnbull: Well, that is a fair point but I think where Joyce is right is that he is competing - his competitors are being very heavily supported by governments. If you look at these Middle Eastern airlines they are, all of them, and there are plenty of others, I'm not just picking on the Middle Eastern ones, but most of these airlines that he competes with have got a lot of support from governments and that is, you know, he is not operating on a level playing field.

Stefanovic: What will happen with Graincorp today?

Turnbull: [laughs]. You should ask the Treasurer.

Stefanovic: I can't at the moment, you're here. You know what's going to happen, what's likely to happen? Are they going to stop that investment?

Turnbull: Karl, it's a matter for the Treasurer and I couldn't tell you.

Stefanovic: It will be interesting to see what happens there. Probably in another hour or so, right? He knows.

Plibersek: He could if he wanted to. He doesn’t want to.

Turnbull: You're so well informed. You should break the story yourself.

Stefanovic: Let's move onto something you do know about, broadband. You've copped it in Fairfax today. You've levelled you out saying the Coalition's plan is poorly planned, unlikely to be completed on time and slashes revenue projections. It's a Malcolm Turnbull carve up, your response?

Turnbull: [laughs] What they've got is they've got a document which was prepared at the Labor Government's request more than 6 months ago by the NBN Co management, Michael Quigley and Ralph Steffens, both of whom have now gone. This document is A) out of date; B) it is defending a failed project. It has no credibility, absolutely none. Fairfax should have actually made it quite clear what the provenance of that document was and the truth is that we will know what is actually going on the NBN very soon because there is a big strategic review under way at the moment, being overseen by the board of the NBN Co, we've got KordaMentha, Boston Consulting Group, Deloittes, a big team in there to find out the real state of the project is at the moment, where it's heading under the old plans, what our options are for doing it sooner, cheaper and more affordably. It’s a very objective study and that will be produced shortly. What Labor is trying to do - they're trying to muddy the waters because they're afraid of the truth and you've seen Stephen Conroy's appalling conduct in the Senate yesterday bullying and harassing witnesses from the department. This is a desperate attempt by Conroy and Labor to avoid the day of reckoning when taxpayers find out how reckless and misconceived this project is.

Stefanovic: Was Stephen Conroy out of line yesterday?

Plibersek: No, I'll tell you what this is. This is the incoming –

Turnbull: You're endorsing what he did yesterday?

Plibersek: This is the incoming government brief. Every department prepares for a new government information about the policies that they're going to have to implement. Malcolm could solve this very quickly by releasing his incoming government brief. Instead -

Turnbull: Can I just correct that Tanya –

Plibersek: - No, no, let me finish.

Turnbull: No, I don’t want to interrupt you –

Plibersek: Malcolm you are interrupting me –

Turnbull: You are making a mistake. It's not the department’s brief. This was prepared by the company, it’s not the departments brief.

Plibersek: For an incoming government.

Turnbull: It was prepared by the company to go to the department and it's not the department's brief. This was a very partisan -

Plibersek: Well why don't you release the department brief?

Turnbull: Because you know -

Plibersek: Why is it a secret document? I released my incoming government brief last time we came into government. Your government’s released none of them. What this is Karl –

Turnbull: This is not the department's brief, it's the company's document.

Plibersek: This is setting up to break another promise. This is a secret document that doesn't need to be secret and it's a set up to break another promise just as has happened with education promise.

Stefanovic: Finally and quickly-

Turnbull: Our promise is to tell the truth about NBN and we’ll honour that, it’s something that your government, your previous government, never did.

Plibersek: You promised to deliver faster, cheaper broadband and this is showing it's going to be slower and worse and won't meet the needs of business or domestic consumers.

Turnbull: It doesn’t show that –

Stefanovic: We've got to finish on one that –

Turnbull: Fairfax has published a totally political document written by a management team that had conspicuously and consistently failed to meet every forecast they ever made.

Plibersek: Well why don’t you release the incoming government’s brief?

Stefanovic: Why didn't you say that after the first question?

Turnbull: I had to get fired up, see.

Stefanovic: He's fired up now. Finally and very quickly, today's meeting of education ministers that promises to be an interesting one. Fly on the wall would be great. NSW Liberal Education Minister Adrian Piccoli says this "There's no doubt that what seems to be happening is that States that signed up to Gonski are being punished –

Plibersek: That’s right.

Stefanovic: And States that didn't sign up are being rewarded". He goes on further and he says, "All of this is immoral."

Plibersek: Yeah it means the kids who need extra –

Turnbull: I think he's jumped the shark, don't you?

Plibersek: I think it shows Karl, the important thing about this is that the kids who need extra funding because they've got poor English language, poor reading skills, disabilities, they've missed out on something, they're going to miss out on funding. Before the election the Liberals said there was no difference between their education policy and ours. We promise $9.4 billion over 6 years. They've taken that down to $1.8 billion. There's a big difference for Australian children.

Stefanovic: Finally Malcolm.

Turnbull: That's not true.

Plibersek: It is true.

Turnbull: We are committed to the same funding envelope as Labor -

Plibersek: That's not right.

Turnbull: Made over the forward estimates -

Plibersek: But not over 6 years.

Turnbull: And we've committed to an additional $230 million for Queensland, NT and WA who didn't sign up to Shorten's various deals and what we are going to do is to develop a fair national and consistent plan, policy because what Labor did –

Stefanovic: Without all the guarantees.

Turnbull: What Labor did in their desperate –

Plibersek: So why then are the Liberal education ministers so opposed to Christopher Pyne's proposal?

Turnbull: Well look Adrian Piccoli obviously thought he cut a pretty good deal.

Plibersek: He did.

Turnbull: And he thinks he got a better deal than anyone else.

Plibersek:  NSW kids will miss out on $2 billion. You shouldn't have said you're going to give them the same amount of money if you're not Malcolm. It's a broken promise.

Turnbull: We have made a commitment to keep the funding envelope the same and we're going to have a national and consistent deal across the country.

Plibersek: You've already cut $1 billion from it.

Stefanovic: Alright we’ve run out of time.

Plibersek: You've already cut $1 billion from it. You've broken a promise to kids and parents. It's unforgiveable.

Turnbull: The only person who cut $1 billion, in face he cut $1.2 billion out was Bill Shorten.

Plibersek:  No that’s not right.

Turnbull: Chris Bowen admitted that he did yesterday.

Plibersek:  That’s not right.

Stefanovic: This is why it’s so good having you two on. We could do three and a half hours of this.

Turnbull: We get along so well.

Stefanovic: Well you do, it’s interesting. It's Fordo's birthday today too.

Turnbull: Happy birthday to him.

Stefanovic: Oh say it with conviction.

Turnbull: How old is he anyway? State secret?

Stefanovic: 26.

Plibersek: Malcolm is going to sing happy birthday Mr Fordham like happy birthday Mr President. [hums Happy Birthday tune]

Turnbull: I cannot sing a note.

Stefanovic: Oh Tanya can do it.

Plibersek: [Laughs] No I can’t.

Turnbull: Can I tell you something?

Stefanovic: Yeah.

Turnbull: If we're in church or somewhere, anywhere where the national anthem is being sung a hymn or whatever, if I'm standing next to Lucy and I start to sing I get this sharp elbow in my ribs. Her view is, and I think she's right, that it's in the public interest that I just move my lips silently.

Stefanovic: Finally, something we all agree on. Thanks, guys.

ENDS

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Media Statement: Readout of meeting with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi

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THE HON BILL SHORTEN MP

LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION

 

 

THE HON TANYA PLIBSERSEK MP

DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION

SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
MEMBER FOR 
SYDNEY

  

MEDIA STATEMENT -  READOUT OF MEETING WITH DAW AUNG SAN SUU KYI 

 

The Leader and Deputy Leader of the Opposition met with Myanmar’s Opposition Leader, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, this afternoon as part of her first official visit to Australia.

Mr Shorten and Ms Plibersek conveyed the Opposition’s support for the political reforms underway in Myanmar, and discussed the importance of increasing people to people and economic ties between our two countries. This visit to Australia helps strengthen our bilateral relationship.

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is a global leader in human rights and democratic reform, and one of the greatest figures of our time.

The Opposition welcomes Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s involvement in World AIDS Day activities while she is here in Australia.

HIV/AIDS remains a serious challenge for many countries, including some of Australia’s nearest neighbours.  Australia must do everything we can, through our aid program and otherwise, to increase access to testing, treatment, and prevention, particularly in developing countries.

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi indicated that openness and compassion are critical to responding effectively to HIV/AIDS in Myanmar.

She also expressed that that business confidence to support investment and economic growth was essential – and that political stability and enforceability of the rule of law are critical to this.

THURSDAY, 28th NOVEMBER 2013

 

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Statement: UN vote regarding Israeli settlement activity

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THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP

DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION

SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
MEMBER FOR SYDNEY


Change in Australia's Position on UN vote regarding  Israeli settlement activity in the occupied territories

Today, the Foreign Minister must personally explain why the Abbott Government has changed Australia's position on a United Nations vote calling for a stop to Israeli settlement activities in the occupied territories.

This change is something that seems to have occurred with little or no consultation.

It's also quite extraordinary that the Government would make such a change without reporting back to the Australian people about it.

Ongoing tension around settlements highlights the need to progress, as quickly as possible, the direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians to resolve outstanding final status issues.

The expansion of settlements outside areas that will clearly remain part of Israel under a territorial exchange agreement undermines the prospect of a lasting peace through a two state solution.

25 NOVEMBER 2013
SYDNEY

 

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Media Statement: Arctic 30

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TP: We know the relationship with Indonesia is under strain at the moment. And it will be very important for the Government to take steps to restore normal relations. Our relationship with Indonesia is one of our most important. We’ve got strong security links with Indonesia, we’ve got cooperation to stop people smuggling, to stop terrorism. We also have very strong economic links with Indonesia.

At the moment, the relationship is under a great deal of strain, and it’s very important that the Australian Government take steps to restore normal relations. We can’t let problems like this fester. Our friendship is a long one and a strong one, and I’m confident that we can restore normal relations but it will take some work.

Question: Is there bipartisanship on this?

TP: Well absolutely. The Opposition sees our relationship with Indonesia as critically important, and we will support any steps the Government is taking to restore normal relations with Indonesia. I think the key difference is that before the election, the now Government, the then Opposition, made some injudicious comments about their policies and they came into Government with a relationship that was already under stress. The Coalition said a number of things about buying back the boats and turning back the boats and so on that the Indonesians were concerned about. The Coalition was making announcements about things that would be happening on Indonesian soil and in Indonesian waters without ever having discussed it with the Indonesians. Tony Abbott on his first trip to Indonesia locked Indonesian journalists out of a press conference.  So you see the level of media coverage in Indonesia at the moment isn't helped by the fact that Tony Abbott offended the whole of the Indonesia press core on his first visit there. So we need to take a few steps back and look at the lead-up to this most recent strain in the relationship, go back to basics and restore friendly relations with a nation that is a near neighbour and a good friend.

 

Journalist: (inaudible) in 2009, there are allegations that happened under the former Labor Government. Shouldn’t the Opposition now be doing more to help patch up this relationship?

 

TP: Well as I say we are absolutely committed to working with the Government to restoring good relations with Indonesia, and abs­olutely we need to support any moves they make to restore the relationship to its normal footing. We never comment on matters of national security or intelligence, but I would say there is a deeper issue here, and there is a deeper issue of the diplomatic relation between our nations. We need to work on a relationship that has been stressed for some time and is now at a very strained stage, we need to make sure that the difficulties between us don’t fester and that we very quickly restore good relations between our nations.

 

Journalist: Should the Prime Minister pick up the phone and speak to the Indonesian President?

 

TP: Look I think it’s very important that the Prime Minister take the advice of the professionals in this area. The diplomats that he has in Indonesia, he’s got a Department of Foreign Affairs that can advise him, a range of people who  have long-standing and good relations with Indonesia that can advise him. I’m not going start dictating what the government should do. I would simply say that it is important that we re-establish good relations with Indonesia. It’s important for Indonesia and it’s very important for Australia too.
Journalist: What should Julie Bishop be doing to restore that relationship?

 

Well in the same way that I’m not going to dictate what the Prime Minister should do, I’m not going to dictate what the Foreign Minister should do. She has a range of very good, very professional advisers now that can tell her the best way forward. But it is important that we move forward, at the moment it seems we seem stuck in a spiral that’s worsening – we need to ensure that we get back to normal good relations as quickly as possible.

 

Journalist: If Bill Shorten is talking about (inaudible) and you’re out here this morning talking about missteps that have led up to this incident, are you doing your bit to push this along? Shouldn’t you be on Bill Shorten’s ticket calling this (inaudible) Australia?

 

TP: Well I would say that I’m doing exactly that, I’m out here saying that the Opposition is ready to stand with the government to repair the relationship. I’m giving some context explaining why the issue has progressed in the way it has. But I can’t be clearer than to say that he Opposition is absolutely committed to working with the government on any measures that they take to restore good relations with our neighbour.

 

Journalist: Can I just ask you about Mark Textor’s Tweet yesterday, he was criticising, and it wasn’t clear in fact who he was criticising, but he was referring to a 1970’s porn star when talking about one of the Indonesian officials.

 

TP: Look I did have those drawn to my attention and I frankly I was quite shocked. They’re highly inappropriate comments and I’m pleased to be told that they have now been taken off the Twitter feed, but I was frankly quite shocked at the comments. This is a person who is in the Prime Minister’s inner circle. The Indonesians know that he is a long-standing adviser to the Liberal Party and I think these sorts of loose comments can do nothing to restore the relation between our two nations.

 

Journalist: Just onto the debt ceiling, is it damaging for Australia’s reputation that this issue hasn’t been resolved?

TP: Well it could be resolved today - it could have been resolved last week. The Opposition has offered the Liberal Government a $400 billion debt ceiling - an extra $100 billion dollars. If they want more than an extra $100 billion, then maybe they should say why. Maybe they should release the mid-year economic forecast which is due now. This is a government that came to government saying that they are going to cut debt, and they want to increase it by $200 billion without saying why. And this goes back to the fact this is not the government that they said they’d be. They said that debt was the problem, and that more debt wasn’t the answer. They said they’d cut debt and they want to increase it.

Journalist: The carbon tax is due to be voted on today in the House of Representatives and there is a stalemate expected in the Senate. Has Labor changed its view on the issue?

TP: Well absolutely not, we have said for many years now - since I think 1988 - in our party platform that climate pollution causing climate change is an environmental economic problem that we need to take action on. In 2007, there was bipartisan agreement on that. John Howard went to the election, Labor went to the election, promising to take action on climate change. Ever since then we have said that this nation has to take action on climate change. We introduced an emission trading scheme that was working, it was cutting dirty power generation and increasing clean energy generation. Now the new government want to scrap that scheme without describing in any detail what will replace it. They claim that they can drop pollution with their new scheme but they don’t say how. They also say that if it costs more than expected then we’ll just skip our pollution target. Most Australians agree that there is something happening to our climate. They can see that our summers are getting hotter, that our weather is changing. That affects our economy, it affects our oceans, and it affects our farming communities. They agree that we need to take action. The government is saying ‘Trust us, repeal these bills and we’ll do something about climate change down the track’. It’s not good enough. Thanks everyone.

ENDS

 

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Media Statement - Mr Colin Russell

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THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP

DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION

SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
MEMBER FOR SYDNEY

 

THE HON MARK DREYFUS QC MP

SHADOW ATTORNEY-GENERAL

SHADOW MINISTER FOR THE ARTS
MEMBER FOR
ISAACS

MEDIA STATEMENT - MR COLIN RUSSELL

The Labor Opposition calls on the Abbott Government to step up diplomatic efforts to help secure bail for Australian, Colin Russell, who remains in pre-trial detention in Russia.

Mr Russell is one of 30 Greenpeace activists (the ‘Arctic 30’) from around the world facing charges following a protest at the Gazprom Arctic oil drilling platform.

We are advised that three Russians have recently been granted bail, but it is understood a Russian court yesterday extended Mr Russell’s pre-trial detention by three months.

The Australian Government should explore, directly with the Russian Government, whether assurances can be given to secure bail for Mr Russell.

Reports indicate the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, has spoken to Russian President Vladimir Putin regarding UK citizens involved.

Prime Minister Abbott and his Foreign Minister must act as well, to urge proportionality and fairness in Russia’s response to the Arctic 30.

TUESDAY, 19 NOVEMBER 2013

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Statement: Prime Minister Abbott's Comments on the Use of Torture

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THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP

DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION

SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
MEMBER FOR SYDNEY

 

THE HON MARK DREYFUS QC MP

SHADOW ATTORNEY-GENERAL

SHADOW MINISTER FOR THE ARTS
MEMBER FOR
ISAACS

MEDIA RELEASE 

PRIME MINISTER ABBOTT’S COMMENTS ON THE USE OF TORTURE

Today Prime Minister Abbott failed to explain to the Parliament his suggestion that torture can be excused in some circumstances.

When asked about torture at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting held recently in Sri Lanka, Mr Abbott said:

“…we accept that sometimes in difficult circumstances, difficult things happen.”

Mr Abbott today refused to explain those comments to the Parliament.

Australia is a signatory to the United Nations’ Convention against Torture and its Optional Protocol.

The Labor Opposition unequivocally condemns the use of torture, without exception.

The Prime Minister’s comments signify a radical departure from Australia’s commitment to human rights and damage Australia’s standing in the international community.

MONDAY, 18 NOVEMBER 2013

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Statement on Typhoon Haiyan - 10 November 2013

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The Hon Tanya Plibersek MP

Deputy Leader of the Opposition

Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Development

Typhoon Haiyan

The Opposition’s thoughts are with the people of the Philippines who have suffered such terrible loss as a result of Typhoon Haiyan.

Our thoughts are also with other nations, including Vietnam and Laos, who authorities report remain in the path of the devastating typhoon.

It is understood an Australian man is among the dead. We express our deepest sympathies to his family and friends.

The Opposition stands ready to assist the Abbott Government, in any way we can, to facilitate Australia’s contribution to relief efforts.

10 NOVEMBER 2013

CANBERRA

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