THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP
DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS
AND INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
MEMBER FOR SYDNEY
THE HON CATHERINE KING MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR HEALTH
MEMBER FOR BALLARAT
MONDAY, 10 OCTOBER 2014
The United States has again called on the Abbott Government to do more to help fight the Ebola crisis in West Africa.
This latest plea has come from the highest levels of the US Government through its national security adviser, Susan Rice.
"We look to Australia and other partners that we'll have the opportunity to meet with at the G20 to fulfil the commitments they've made and do more, frankly."
"Because at this stage, there are many needs that remain unmet in the West African region, whether it's financial resources, particularly for the United Nations appeal, healthcare workers, beds, and medical supplies."
"We continue to look to capable partners like Australia to do their part"
Susan Rice, US National Security Adviser, Australian Financial Review, 10 November, 2014
It is reported US President Barack Obama will push for Australia to step up its efforts when he meets with Prime Minister Abbott in China today.
The United States is a great friend to Australia. We must take requests from them to do more very seriously.
When Ms Plibersek was in the United States recently, officials from the State Department, the White House, and the United Nations told her again and again how important it was to get more skilled personnel to West Africa.
That's what Labor has been urging for many weeks now.
Though long overdue, Labor welcomed the additional measures to help fight Ebola, announced by the Government last week. But by Mr Abbott's own admission, those measures may not see many Australian volunteer healthcare workers supported to go to West Africa.
We know there is a need for Australian healthcare workers in West Africa. Our close friend and ally, the United States, is telling us so too - and they're asking for our help.
There are hundreds of Australian doctors and nurses willing and able to help fight Ebola in West Africa. The Abbott Government needs to do more to support them to go.