AFP Mission in Ukraine

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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

 

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.

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Pre-Deployment of Australian Federal Police Officers

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THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP

ACTING LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION

SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

MEMBER FOR SYDNEY

MEDIA RELEASE

 

PRE-DELPOYMENT OF AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE OFFICERS

 

THURSDAY, 24 JULY 2014

The Opposition welcomes the Government’s announcement that around 50 Australian Federal Police officers have been pre-deployed to assist with investigations into the flight MH17 crash.

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

This cannot occur without properly securing the crash site. We understand that, if deployed, the AFP officers will form part of an international team tasked with securing the site and properly examining it.

Labor pays tribute to the highly skilled work of the Australian Federal Police, and all other Australian personnel involved.

Labor will continue to seek briefings from the Government as the situation unfolds.

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Joko Widodo Elected President of Indonesia

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THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP

ACTING LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION

SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

 

MEDIA RELEASE

 

JOKO WIDODO ELECTED PRESIDENT OF INDONESIA

 

WEDNESDAY, 23 JULY 2014 

The Labor Opposition congratulates Joko Widodo on his election as the next President of Indonesia.

We look forward to working closely with him to further strengthen and deepen the relationship between our two nations.

Indonesia is a neighbour of paramount importance, and a great partner of Australia.

The Indonesian elections were an inspiring exercise in democracy, with around 190 million voters casting ballots at nearly half a million polling stations, spread across 33 provinces.

Labor pays tribute to current President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono who has been a very good friend to Australia and who has played a superbly calm and steadying role throughout the election process.

We are confident that Australia and the President-elect can continue and grow this warm relationship.

 

 

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Best of Luck to Australia’s Commonwealth Games Team

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THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK

ACTING LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION

SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS

MEMBER FOR SYDNEY

 

THE HON BERNIE RIPOLL MP

SHADOW MINISTER FOR SPORT

MEMBER FOR OXLEY

MEDIA RELEASE

 

BEST OF LUCK TO AUSTRALIA’S COMMONWEALTH GAMES TEAM

 WEDNESDAY 23 JULY 2014 

Labor is sending its best wishes to the Australian Commonwealth Games Team for the 2014 Glasgow Games which kick off tomorrow morning (Australian time).

This Games, over 71 Commonwealth nations and territories will compete in 22 sports over 11 days.

Australia has a proud history of extraordinary success at the Commonwealth Games – at the last Commonwealth Games in Delhi, Australia topped the medal tally, collecting 177 medals including 74 gold.

Labor knows that the members of the Australian Team will make our nation proud through fierce competition in the true spirit of the Games.

We wish the more than 400 athletes of Team Australia, Chef-De-Mission Steve Moneghetti and team officials the very best for a hugely successful Games in Glasgow.

 

 

 

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Malaysia Airlines Flight 17

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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

MALAYSIA AIRLINES FLIGHT 17

 FRIDAY, 18 JULY 2014

This tragedy is devastating news.

Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with the family and friends of all those on board, including at least 23 Australians.

We are advised the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has established a 24 hour hotline. Anyone with concerns about loved ones should call 1300 555 135.

The Labor Opposition will do all it can to support the Government at this terrible time.

 

 

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Abbott Government Must Rule Out More Cuts to Overseas Aid and Australia’s Diplomatic Service

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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 MATT THISTLETHWAITE MP

SHADOW PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS

SHADOW PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY FOR IMMIGRATION

MEMBER FOR KINGSFORD SMITH

 

MEDIA RELEASE

ABBOTT GOVERNMENT MUST RULE OUT MORE CUTS TO OVERSEAS AID AND AUSTRALIA’S DIPLOMATIC SERVICE

 

16 JULY 2014

CANBERRA

 

I call on the Abbott Government to immediately rule out more cuts to overseas aid and Australia’s diplomatic service following the Treasurer’s announcement that he is looking for further cuts to rescue his unfair, chaotic Budget.

The $7.6 billion cut to aid was the single biggest in the Abbott Government’s first Budget.

The Abbott Government’s cut to aid has already hit some of the world’s poorest nations hard, including countries in Australia’s own backyard.

Our aid program helps to enhance global prosperity, and Australia's own security. The Abbott Government's cuts put both at risk.

Mr Abbott’s $400 million cut to our diplomatic service seriously jeopardises Australia’s influence on the international stage.

Labor will continue to fight this unfair, chaotic Budget.

Now, if the Senate chooses to block savings initiatives, then we need to look at other savings initiatives that may not require legislation and I would ask the Greens and the Labor Party who between them hold 35 votes on the floor of the Senate - to understand that there are alternatives for a Government.

JOE HOCKEY – AM PROGRAM – 16 JULY 2014

 

 

 

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Events in Israel and the Palestinian Territories

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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

 

EVENTS IN ISRAEL AND THE PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES

MONDAY, 14 JULY 2014

CANBERRA

Labor urges calm and supports the calls of the UN Security Council for a ceasefire.

We encourage all parties to do everything they can to stop violence and de-escalate tensions, to end the deaths and the human suffering.

Labor is committed to supporting an enduring peace for Israelis and Palestinians through a just two-state solution.

For their own safety, Australians should follow the latest travel advice for the region from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

 

 

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Peter Greste

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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

 

PETER GRESTE

MONDAY, 23 JUNE 2014

CANBERRA

Labor is appalled by the seven year gaol sentence given to Australian journalist Peter Greste.

We remain ready to help the Abbott Government do everything it can to assist in securing Peter’s release.

Our thoughts are with Peter, his parents, family, colleagues and friends at this incredibly difficult time.

Being a journalist is not a crime.

Journalists shouldn’t be put on trial or locked up for doing their job.

We commend the ongoing efforts of Australian diplomats who are working so hard on this matter.

 

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The Abbott Government's 'Fresh New Approach' on Overseas Aid

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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

THE ABBOTT GOVERNMENT'S 'FRESH NEW APPROACH' ON OVERSEAS AID

WEDNESDAY, 18 JUNE 2014
The Abbott Government is wrong if it thinks its 'fresh new approach' to aid can explain away its devastating $7.6 billion cut in aid to the world's poor. The aid program doesn’t need cosmetic makeovers, it needs appropriate levels of funding and experienced delivery.

Julie Bishop must explain to the world's poorest nations how her 'fresh new approach' will make all the difference while she rips billions from the budget that supports things like food programs, childhood immunisation, maternal health, and treatment for HIV and malaria.  Ms Bishop must rule out cuts to programs like these.

Labor is also concerned by Ms Bishop's suggestion that Australia's overseas aid can be outsourced to the private sector.

The Abbott Government's $7.6 billion cut to aid includes a $110 million decrease for the Asia-Pacific in one year alone - despite the Government's claims that its aid program would focus on our region.

This comes on top of the Abbott Government sacking 500 staff from the foreign affairs department, including former AusAID experts with critical experience in delivering overseas aid.  The loss of that expertise threatens the effectiveness of Australian aid.

Labor supports efforts to increase the accountability and effectiveness of Australia's overseas aid.  That's why, in Government, Labor undertook a review of aid effectiveness and implemented internationally recognised aid accountability and effectiveness measures.

In contrast to the Abbott Government, Labor improved accountability and effectiveness while at the same time nearly doubling the aid budget - from $2.9 billion to $5.7 billion per year.

 

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The Budget that Forgot Women

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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 BUDGET THAT FORGOT WOMEN

 

OPINION PIECE

THE HOOLPLA

TUESDAY, 3 JUNE 2014

 

Last week former Prime Minister Julia Gillard summed up the government’s budget perfectly. At the Joan Kirner Social Justice Oration, she said:

“Budgets are made up of choices. They make us – all of us, no matter what side of politics we are on – think about what we care most about – what we
want valued in our society. What we want to create and reward, preserve and defend.”

By that measure, Tony Abbott’s first Budget is terrible for Australian women. And you don’t have to look hard to see why.

Mr Abbott had all the credentials to be the Prime Minister for women, said the Liberals before the last election. He’s got a wife and three daughters, they said – what else is there to know? He wants to pay millionaire women of ‘calibre’ $50,000 to have a baby. What more proof did we need of genuine commitment to women?

Let’s take a quick look at some examples of what’s happened since:

FAMILY BUDGETS

The facts

Many Australian families are already struggling to make ends meet.

Tony Abbott’s promise

“A dumb way [to cut spending] would be to threaten family benefits or to means test them further.” Speech, 4 May 2011

Tony Abbott’s Budget

For example:

  • A family with two kids aged 5 and 12, on a combined income of $95,000 will be nearly $5,000 a year worse off with cuts to family tax benefits, the GP tax, the petrol tax, cuts to the Schoolkids bonus, and the increased cost of medicines.
  • An unemployed 26 year old will be nearly $7,000 a year worse off with no Newstart payments for six months, increased health costs, and cuts to the income support bonus.

HEALTH

The facts

Women account for around 60 per cent of GP visits. Under the former Labor Government, GP bulk-billing rates rose to record highs, with around 82 per cent of visits to the GP free to the patient.

Tony Abbott’s promise
“…no cuts to health…” SBS News , 6 September 2013

Tony Abbott’s Budget

  • A $7 GP tax every time you visit your family doctor. $55 billion cut from health, which means hospital beds will close and waiting times will blow out.
  • Price of medicine goes up to $42.90 per script.

EDUCATION

The facts

Many Australian families are finding it hard to meet the costs of education for their children.

Tony Abbott’s promise

“…no cuts to education…” Channel 7 News , 6 September 2013

Tony Abbott’s Budget

  • $30 billion cut from schools.
  • Cuts all federal funding for preschool – $500 million.
  • Schoolkids bonus cut, costing a family with two kids $15,000 through the course of their children’s schooling

PENSIONS

The facts

Most aged pensioners are women, because men usually have more superannuation savings.

Tony Abbott’s promise

“…no changes to pensions…” ABC News, 6 September 2013

Tony Abbott’s Budget

  • Cut fair indexation of the pension which made sure the pension kept pace with the cost of living. Had Tony Abbott’s new indexation system been in place for the last four years, a single pensioner on the maximum rate would be $1,560 a year worse off than they are today.
  • Increased the pension age to 70.
  • All pensioners and state seniors card holders are set to lose valuable concessions for public transport and utilities.
  • Veterans have also had their entitlements cut.

EQUAL PAY FOR WOMEN AND SUPERANNUATION

The facts

In Australia, women still earn 17.1 per cent less than men. Women make up 2.1 million of the 3.6 million workers who benefit from the Low Income Superannuation Contribution from the government. Women typically have lower superannuation assets because of lower workforce participation and the wage gap, so are less able to afford to fund their own retirement.

Tony Abbott’s promise

“…the commitment that the Coalition has given is that there will be no unexpected adverse changes to people’s superannuation.” Press conference, 2 April 2013

Tony Abbott’s Budget

  • Cut the Low Income Superannuation Contribution up to $500 a year for workers on incomes below $37,000.
  • Delayed Labor’s plan to increase compulsory superannuation contributions from 9 per cent to 12 per cent, which would have seen a 30 year old on average wages with an extra $100,000 in super when they retire.

HOUSING

The facts

Women and girls make up about 60 per cent of all people accessing homelessness services – about a quarter of those are fleeing domestic and family violence.

Tony Abbott’s promise

“The Coalition believes it is fundamental that women and their families are safe from violence.” Coalition election policy, 2013

Tony Abbott’s Budget

  • $44 million cut from homelessness services in the first year alone.

OVERSEAS AID

The facts

Last year alone Australia’s aid budget: meant 305,000 additional births were attended by a skilled birth attendant; 2.76 million children were vaccinated; and 24,800 women survivors of violence received counselling, crisis accommodation, legal and medical support.

Tony Abbott’s promise

“The Coalition remains committed to the Millennium Development goal of increasing foreign aid to 0.5 per cent of GNI.” Coalition election policy, 2013

Tony Abbott’s Budget

  • Cut $7.6 billion from the aid budget.
  • Abandoned the Millennium Development Goal target of 0.5% of Australia’s Gross National Income to be spent on aid.

This federal Budget makes it harder for women to balance the family budget, and it cuts all the services we rely on – health and education especially.

As Julia Gillard put it, government Budgets are about choices and values. Tony Abbott has delivered a Budget that takes away choice and security for women.

Mr Abbott’s choices in this Budget so clearly reveal his values.

Tony Abbott has chosen to pay millionaires $50,000 to have a baby, while at the same time cutting family tax benefits for ordinary families, cutting $500 million from preschools, cutting $450 million from Outside School Hours Care, and scrapping the Schoolkids bonus. This comes on top of cuts to the wages of childcare workers. That really says it all.

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