STATEMENT - Australia's Relationship with Indonesia

coats arms

THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP

DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION

SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

 

STATEMENT

 

AUSTRALIA’S RELATIONSHIP WITH INDONESIA

 

THURSDAY, 28 AUGUST 2014

Labor welcomes the agreement signed today between Australia and Indonesia.

Given cooperation between our two nations had been suspended in critical areas like defence and people smuggling for almost nine months, we are disappointed it took the Abbott Government so long to reach agreement with Indonesia.

When we are able to see the text of the agreement, we will go through it carefully.

Labor always said we wanted Australia’s relationship with Indonesia back on track, and we hope today’s agreement helps achieve that.

Indonesia is a neighbour of paramount importance, and a great partner of Australia.  Labor is keen to see that warm partnership grow.

 

We pay particular tribute to the leadership of Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono who has been a very good friend to Australia over many years.

 

Add your reaction Share

MEDIA RELEASE - Long-Term Ceasefire in Israel and Gaza

coats arms


 THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP

DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION

SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

LONG-TERM CEASEFIRE IN ISRAEL AND GAZA

 

WEDNESDAY, 27 AUGUST 2014

Labor warmly welcomes the long-term ceasefire in Israel and Gaza.

With reports of more than 2000 dead, the human toll of this terrible conflict has been unspeakable.

We welcome both the agreement of Hamas and other militant groups in Gaza to halt all rocket and mortar fire into Israel, and Israel's agreement to stop all military action including air strikes and ground operations.

In addition, more border crossings will be opened with Gaza to allow the easier flow of goods, including humanitarian aid and reconstruction equipment.

Labor calls on the Abbott Government to do everything it can to assist with humanitarian relief in the region.

Now a long-term ceasefire has been agreed, we support a return to negotiations between the parties for a lasting peace through a two state solution

Add your reaction Share

STATEMENT - Labor Backs Iraqi Christian Calls for Support

coats arms

THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP

DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION

SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

 

THE HON CHRIS BOWEN MP

SHADOW TREASURER

MEMBER FOR MCMAHON

 

THE HON CHRIS HAYES MP
CHIEF OPPOSITION WHIP

MEMBER FOR FOWLER

 

STATEMENT

 

LABOR BACKS IRAQI CHRISTIAN CALLS FOR SUPPORT

 

WEDNESDAY, 20 AUGUST 2014

Federal Labor backs calls by Australian representatives of the Iraqi Assyrian and Chaldean Christian community for the Government to help alleviate the suffering of the humanitarian disaster in northern Iraq.

The Shadow Foreign Affairs Minister, Tanya Plibersek, the Shadow Treasurer and Member for McMahon, Chris Bowen, and the Chief Opposition Whip and Member for Fowler, Chris Hayes, met today with community leaders to hear their concerns.

Assyrian and Chaldean Christians have lived in northern Iraq for millennia, but more than 150,000 have been displaced in recent months as they fled Islamic State insurgents, taking refuge in Syria, Lebanon, Iran and other neighbouring countries.

All Australians are appalled by the vicious and brutal terror campaign undertaken by Islamic State forces, which reportedly includes killing those who do not support their radical agenda.

Ms Plibersek, Mr Bowen and Mr Hayes met in western Sydney with leaders of the Assyrian Universal Alliance, the Assyrian Church of the East, the Saint Thomas Chaldean Catholic Church and other community groups.

The community and church leaders have called on the Government to support proposals to establish an autonomous region in the Nineveh plains, to increase humanitarian refugees from the region, and to increase Australian humanitarian aid.

Even though the humanitarian crisis on Mount Sinjar has eased after US air strikes, hundreds of thousands of people forced from their homes still need food, clothing and shelter.

Federal Labor welcomes the decision by the Iraqi Government to support in principle the creation of an autonomous region in the Nineveh plains. We are hopeful that the new government soon to be formed in Iraq will find ways to ensure security and autonomy for minority religious groups.

Federal Labor welcomes the decision of the Australian Government to provide $5 million in emergency humanitarian aid for those fleeing IS – after it had previously cut the Australian aid budget to Iraq from $7.7 million last year to zero – but much more is needed. Australia’s involvement in the Iraq war gives us a particular responsibility to support those who have been displaced.

Federal Labor also welcomes the Government’s decision to allocate 4400 existing refugee places to people from Iraq and Syria, but regrets the Government’s decision to reverse the previous Labor Government’s increase in the humanitarian quota to 20,000.

 

 

Add your reaction Share

STATEMENT - Labor Condemns Beheading

coats arms

THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP

DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION

SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

 

STATEMENT

 

LABOR CONDEMNS BEHEADING

 WEDNESDAY, 20 AUGUST 2014

The beheading of an American journalist by Islamic State shows the extreme brutality and disregard for human life of the terrorist group.

The family and friends of the journalist, James Foley, must be greatly distressed at the news, and the way it has been broadcast. Federal Labor offers them our condolences and sympathy.

This atrocity illustrates the terrible risks faced more generally by foreign correspondents reporting in war zones.

Mr Foley’s life is just one of hundreds of thousands to have been lost in Syria and now Iraq, but it highlights graphically the extreme and shocking tactics used by IS.

This event reinforces the need for an urgent solution to the conflict in Syria and Iraq.

Add your reaction Share

STATEMENT - Labor Backs Call for More Help to South Sudan

coats arms

THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP

DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION

SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

MEDIA STATEMENT

 

LABOR BACKS CALL FOR MORE HELP TO SOUTH SUDAN

 

FRIDAY, 15 AUGUST 2014

Australia can and should do more in response to the food crisis in South Sudan.

The ‘fair share’ analysis released by Oxfam shows Australia should be contributing around $26 million this year – almost twice the amount it currently does.

Instead of lifting our efforts, the largest single cut in the Abbott Government’s Budget was to foreign aid, with one in every five dollars saved at the expense of the world’s poor.

Now we are seeing the Government having to provide emergency humanitarian aid to countries where they have cut Australia’s normal aid program earlier in the year, like Iraq and the Palestinian Territories.

In the last two years of the Labor Government, the aid provided to Syria was more than three times the amount given by the Abbott Government to date, even though the number of refugees in need is increasing every day.

 

The Government’s $7.6 billion cuts to foreign aid are a blow to the ability of countries in the developing world to build up their stability, independence and self-reliance.

It is in Australia’s interests to help countries build stable and thriving economies and societies, rather than waiting to respond to a humanitarian crisis.

Like the Abbott Government’s short-sighted cuts in so many other areas, their cuts to foreign aid are setting us up for much larger costs down the track.

And, as always, the Abbott Government places the heaviest burden on the people least able to shoulder it.

 

 

Add your reaction Share

MEDIA RELEASE - Labor Welcomes Ausmin Outcomes

coats arms

THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP

DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION

SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

SENATOR STEPHEN CONROY

DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION IN THE SENATE

SHADOW MINISTER FOR DEFENCE

 

MEDIA RELEASE

 

LABOR WELCOMES AUSMIN OUTCOMES

Federal Labor has today welcomed the signing of the Force Posture Agreement between Australia and the United States.

The agreement creates the legal framework for the rotational presence in Australia of US marines.

It follows the agreement reached between Prime Minister Julia Gillard and US President Barack Obama in 2011, which paved the way for US marines to conduct exercises and training on a rotational basis with the Australian Defence Force in Australia.

Federal Labor also welcomes the continued support for close links between Australian and US special forces, as well as further cooperation on ballistic missile defence.

Today’s announcements build on the work done by the Labor Government and further Australia’s long-held strategic interests in supporting US engagement in our region in a manner that promotes peace and stability.

Federal Labor has welcomed ongoing cooperation between Australia and the United States to address urgent and complex challenges including in Iraq, Gaza and Syria.

Labor supports the leadership shown by the United States in meeting the humanitarian crisis in Iraq, as well as the offer of humanitarian assistance from the Australian Government.

Australia and the United States have been Allies for more than sixty years and we welcome steps that continue to underpin and strengthen this relationship.

Add your reaction Share

STATEMENT - Humanitarian Situation in Iraq

coats arms

THE HON. BILL SHORTEN

LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION

MEMBER FOR MARIBYRNONG

 

TANYA PLIBERSEK MP

DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION

SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

MEMBER FOR SYDNEY

 

STATEMENT

 

HUMANITARIAN SITUATION IN IRAQ

 

FRIDAY, 8 AUGUST 2014

The humanitarian need in Iraq is significant, urgent and increasing.

We note that President Obama has authorised airstrikes in Iraq as a response to the US assessment that strikes may be necessary to prevent massacres of civilians.

Labor has been extremely concerned about reports of civilian deaths, and most recently, the targeting of tens of thousands of Yazidis trapped on a mountain without food and water.

The reports emerging from Iraq about the persecution by ISIS of any religion other than Sunni Islam are deeply troubling and we understand that strong action may be necessary to protect civilians.

In addition to the authorisation of air strikes should they become necessary, the United States has made airdrops of food and water to besieged civilians.

Australia must also offer humanitarian assistance to the people of Iraq.

I note that Australian government assistance to Iraq last year was $7.7 million. In the May budget that was cut to $0.

The leaders of Iraq should resolve immediately to form an inclusive government and settle the Presidency so that a united front can be presented against ISIS, a violent, extremist organisation.

If Australia is asked to provide military assistance, we would expect detailed briefings from the Government before making an assessment.

I will be meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Sydney next week and will raise the situation with him then.

Add your reaction Share

STATEMENT - The Conflict in Israel and the Palestinian Territories

 coats arms

THE HON BILL SHORTEN

LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION

MEMBER FOR MARIBYRNONG

 

THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK

DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION

SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS

MEMBER FOR SYDNEY

 

STATEMENT

 

THE CONFLICT IN ISRAEL AND THE PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES

THURSDAY, 8 AUGUST 2014

Labor calls on all parties to agree to a continuation of the 72-hour ceasefire in Gaza, which is scheduled to end at 3:00pm AEST on Friday 8 August.

With reports of almost 1900 dead, including hundreds of children, we urge the parties to agree to an extension of the ceasefire and work to achieve a permanent end to the conflict.

Labor has been especially concerned that even when taking shelter in UN run facilities, residents of Gaza have not been safe.

Labor deplores the abuse of civilian facilities for military purposes, including reportedly to hide rockets.

Australia needs to work with the international community to facilitate lasting peace and an end to this terrible conflict – including through our position on the United Nations Security Council.

Labor supports an Australian contribution to the huge humanitarian task in Gaza. Gaza has faced enormous social and economic difficulties due to the blockade, even before the recent fighting.

Labor welcomes the $5 million the Australian Government has recently contributed to humanitarian efforts, but notes that this follows an earlier decision by the Government to cut $4.5 million in Australian aid funding this year to the Palestinian Territories.

While the conflict in Gaza has been distressing it is important that debate is kept within civil bounds. Labor utterly condemns any racist, bigoted or sectarian attacks directed at members of our own community or the communities in the Middle East.

 

 

Add your reaction Share

The Conflict in Israel and the Palestinian Territories

coats-arms.jpg

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

STATEMENT

 

THE CONFLICT IN ISRAEL AND THE PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES

 

THURSDAY, 31 JULY 2014

The Australian Government must use its position on the United Nations Security Council to push for an immediate ceasefire in Israel and the Palestinian Territories.

With reports of more than 1300 dead, including many children, the fighting must end now.

Labor is appalled by the recent shelling of a UN school in a Gaza refugee camp, and attacks on similar facilities.

Labor deplores the abuse of civilian facilities for military purposes, including a Gaza school that was used to hide rockets.

Hamas must stop firing rockets into Israel - more than 2600 so far, and Israel must restrain its response, which has cost far too many civilian lives.

The scale of human suffering has shocked the world.

Australia needs to work urgently with the international community to bring this terrible conflict to an end.

 

 

Add your reaction Share

AFP Mission in Ukraine

coats-arms.jpg

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

 

AFP MISSION IN UKRAINE

SUNDAY, 27 JULY 2014

More than a week has passed since 298 people, including Australian citizens and residents, were shot out of the sky in an act of barbarous terror.

The nation’s shock and grief has turned to frustration as we wait for answers to this unspeakable crime.

This afternoon I spoke with the Prime Minister regarding the deployment of Australian Federal Police officers to Ukraine as part of a Dutch-led, unarmed police operation.

I offered the Prime Minister Labor’s full support for this mission.

The priority is and must continue to be the recovery of the bodies, their identification, and their repatriation to grieving families.

In a dangerous and volatile environment, this is the most sensible course of action.

There is no doubt this will be a difficult mission, but Labor has full confidence in the skill and professionalism of the AFP officers undertaking this task. I know all Australians will keep them in their thoughts.

Labor will continue to seek regular briefings from the Government as the mission progresses.

We owe it to the families of the victims to bring their loved ones home.

Add your reaction Share