Australia’s Consul-General in New York

coats-arms.jpg

TANYA PLIBERSEK MP

DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION

SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
MEMBER FOR SYDNEY

MEDIA RELEASE 

Australia’s Consul-General in New York

WEDNESDAY, 5 FEBRUARY 2014

SYDNEY

The Foreign Minister must immediately explain why the post of Australia’s Consul-General in New York has been vacant for five months.

In September last year, the Abbott Government stripped former Victorian Premier, Steve Bracks, of the post saying he had ‘no obvious credentials for the job’.

Now, five months on, the Foreign Minister needs to say who she intends to appoint, and when.

Australia’s diplomatic, business, and cultural interests in New York have gone without senior representation for months because of the Abbott Government’s indecision.

By any measure, Steve Bracks was eminently qualified to serve as Consul-General.  Mr Bracks is a respected Australian businessman and an eight year Premier of Victoria.  He has held senior positions in foreign affairs, finance and superannuation and would have played a central role in Australia-New York business growth.

 

 

Add your reaction Share

Australia's Next Governor-General - General Peter Cosgrove AC MC

coats-arms.jpg

THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP

ACTING LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION

MEMBER FOR SYDNEY

 

MEDIA RELEASE

 

AUSTRALIA’S NEXT GOVERNOR-GENERAL – GENERAL PETER COSGROVE AC MC

TUESDAY, 28 JANUARY 2013 

The Federal Opposition today congratulates General Peter Cosgrove AC MC on his appointment as Australia’s 26th Governor-General.

Labor welcomes the selection of such a capable, eminent and respected Australian to this high office.

General Cosgrove reflects the best of Australia and its people. He has dedicated his entire adult life to serving his country, inspiring others with his determination, strength and leadership.

As Commander of the international peacekeeping forces in East Timor, General Cosgrove helped bring independence to a new nation and stability to our region in difficult times.

As a former Chief of the Army and Chief of the Defence Force, General Cosgrove represented the most remarkable qualities of our service personnel at home and abroad.

He continued his unwavering commitment to public service in leading the recovery effort in Far North Queensland following the devastation of Cyclone Larry in 2006.

General Cosgrove was also recognised as a role model for others when he was named our Australian of the Year in 2001.

We wish General Cosgrove the very best as he undertakes this new role on behalf of the Australian people.

Federal Labor also recognises and thanks Governor-General Her Excellency the Hon Quentin Bryce AC CVO for her tremendous contribution and service since her appointment as Governor-General in 2008.

Ms Bryce is Australia’s first female Governor-General and has brought a renewed sense of respect and appreciation to Australia’s highest office, in particular, serving as a role model and mentor to Australian women.

Ms Bryce has served Australia with honour and represented our country with grace.

We will miss her sincerity, and her warmth.

All Australians are grateful for Ms Bryce’s service.

Add your reaction Share

STATEMENT - Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan

coats arms

THE HON BILL SHORTEN MP

LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION

THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP

DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION

SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

 

STATEMENT

 

MYURAN SUKUMARAN AND ANDREW CHAN

 

SATURDAY, 17 JANUARY 2015

Labor opposes the death penalty in all cases.

We urge clemency for anyone facing it, whoever and wherever they may be. That includes two members of the Bali Nine, Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan.

Consistent with the long standing bi-partisan opposition to the death penalty, both Labor and Liberal governments have made representations to a number of countries on behalf of Australian citizens who face the death penalty. That work has Labor's full support.

 

 

Add your reaction Share

Media Release: Government Must Pledge Support For Holden Workers

coats-arms.jpg

THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP

ACTING LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION

SENATOR THE HON KIM CARR

SHADOW MINISTER FOR HIGHER EDUCATION, RESEARCH, INNOVATION & INDUSTRY

THE HON BRENDAN O’CONNOR MP

SHADOW MINISTER FOR EMPLOYMENT & WORKPLACE RELATIONS 

MEDIA RELEASE 

GOVERNMENT MUST PLEDGE SUPPORT FOR HOLDEN WORKERS 

Today is a devastating day for Holden workers, their families, and thousands more Australians who depend on a strong automotive sector.

The ramifications of this announcement will be felt throughout our economy. We know there will be more bad news to come, and we know more Australians will lose their jobs.

Our hearts are very heavy for these workers and their families, and the communities that depend on these jobs.

The Federal Opposition has repeatedly called on the Abbott Government to provide certainty to Holden and its workers. Their inaction has helped create a situation where an important business believed it could no longer operate in our country.

Workers and their families are the ultimate losers from the Government’s irresponsible game of brinkmanship.

Having succeeded in forcing GM Holden out of Australia, the Abbott Government must now deal with the consequences of its reckless policies.

Some 2,900 Holden workers will now go into Christmas knowing that the Abbott Government has cost them their job.

A further 47,000 workers directly employed in the automotive industry face great uncertainty over their future.

The Abbott Government helped cause this situation.

First, the Government decided to rip out $500 million in government assistance for the automotive industry.

Second, they sought to cover their inaction with a Productivity Commission Inquiry, which won’t report for months.

Then they undertook an extraordinary back-grounding campaign in the media, attacking the company and its workers, including letters designed to be leaked.

And yesterday, the Treasurer dared Holden to leave Australia. He got his way.

This devastating news was preventable. Under Labor this would not have happened.

The Labor Government had come to an agreement with Holden that would have seen them stay in Australia until the middle of the next decade, for less than $150 million a year in government co-investment.

The Abbott Government needs to urgently put forward a comprehensive and detailed plan to help these workers retrain, reskill and transition to new jobs.

It is not good enough to say that the company will look after redundancy payments and that there won’t “necessarily be any extra assistance required from Government”, as Senator Abetz said today.

The Abbott Government has failed Australian manufacturing. They must not be allowed to fail their workers even further.

Today, our Prime Minister has let an Australian icon die.

WEDNESDAY, 11 DECEMBER 2013

Add your reaction Share

Joint Media Statement: Nelson Mandela

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 -  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

Add your reaction Share

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

coats-arms.jpg

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 

Add your reaction Share

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

coats-arms.jpg
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

Add your reaction Share

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

coats-arms.jpg

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

 

Add your reaction Share

Statement: UN vote regarding Israeli settlement activity

coats-arms.jpg

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

 

Add your reaction Share

Media Statement: Arctic 30

coats-arms.jpg

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

 

Add your reaction Share