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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Opinion Piece - Rocking The Boats: Abbott Needs to Salvage Indonesian Ties

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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
 

OPINION PIECE ON AUSTRALIA’S RELATIONSHIP WITH INDONESIA

ROCKING THE BOATS: ABBOTT NEEDS TO SALVAGE INDONESIAN TIES

Over the last several weeks, many have looked on shocked as the Abbott Government has turned Australia’s once strong relationship with Indonesia sour.

Unfortunately this is hardly a surprise.

Indonesia is an important neighbour.  It is an important trading partner and friend.

In Government, Labor worked with Indonesia to strengthen the relationship between our two countries.

From closer defence ties to helping build two thousand schools, Labor carved out a deeper partnership with Indonesia.

We handed over a relationship in fine working order – strong and productive.

Despite claiming their foreign policy would be “more Jakarta and less Geneva”, Tony Abbott and Julie Bishop have weakened that relationship in just a matter of months.

The new government has taken a number of diplomatic missteps.

Before the election, the Liberals made claims about how their asylum seeker policies would operate on Indonesian soil and in Indonesian waters without discussion or consultation with Indonesia.

Tony Abbott and Julie Bishop failed to talk to Indonesia about their ‘turn back the boats’ or ‘buy back the boats’ policies leading the Indonesian Foreign Minister to describe these announcements as ‘unilateral’ and ‘worrying’.  The Indonesian Foreign Minister warned Julie Bishop that “Indonesia cannot accept any Australian policy that would, in nature, violate Indonesia’s sovereignty.”

People smuggling is a regional problem that requires regional cooperation.  The Liberals’ unilateral announcements undermine that cooperation and have plainly made the Indonesian government disinclined to accept asylum seeker boats which Australia has sought to return.

We know this through the Indonesian media – not our own government which refuses to answer questions about the ‘turn back the boats’ policy it took to the election.  The Jakarta Post is telling Australians more than our own government.

While Tony Abbott made much of his first official visit to Indonesia, he was forced to spend much of his time apologising for things he said during the election campaign, and came back empty handed on both his ‘turn back the boats’ and ‘buy back the boats’ policies.

The state of our relationship with Indonesia is the result of the Liberal party in opposition and now in government continuing to insult our neighbour.

Diplomacy is a two way street.  You can’t act disrespectfully to our international partners and expect cooperation in return.

The recent stand off on asylum seeker boats is a very practical manifestation of that, but it is just one example of the deteriorating relationship.

Julie Bishop visited Indonesia last week, but has refused to explain to the Australian people how she will repair our relationship with our neighbour. It is plain that her belated efforts to fix the friendship have failed so far.

The Vice President of Indonesia is visiting Australia this week.  The Prime Minister and Foreign Minister must meet with the Vice President to reassure Indonesia of the Abbott Government’s goodwill.

The test for the new Government is to restore the long standing and friendly diplomatic relationship with our neighbour.

Anything less undermines future cooperation with Indonesia, and the stability that brings to our region.

Originally published online by the Sydney Morning Herald

MONDAY, 11 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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Appointment as Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Development

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The Hon Tanya Plibersek MP

Deputy Leader of the Opposition

Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Development

Appointment as Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Development

It is a great privilege to be appointed Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Development.

The Australian Labor Party has a proud history on the international stage ‐ from its role in the formation of the United Nations to the development of APEC.

I look forward to leading work on Labor’s vision for Australia’s future in our region, and in the world. I also welcome the opportunity to work cooperatively with the Government on foreign policy and international development matters, where possible.

In addition, I am delighted to be working with Senator Claire Moore on women’s policy, Senator Don Farrell on the Centenary of ANZAC, and Matt Thistlethwaite as the Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs.

18 OCTOBER 2013

CANBERRA

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Election as Deputy Leader of the Opposition

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The Hon Tanya Plibersek MP

Deputy Leader of the Opposition

Election as Deputy Leader of the Opposition

It is an honour to be elected as Deputy Leader of the Opposition and Deputy Leader of the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party.

I thank my colleagues for putting their faith in me.

My congratulations go to Bill Shorten on his election as Leader of the Opposition and Leader of the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party.

Together with Bill and the Labor team, I will work as hard as I can to rebuild a united, strong, progressive party. That is what we owe to Australians who depend on Labor for a strong economy and a fair society.

I would like to pay tribute to Anthony Albanese, for the excellent campaign he ran, and for his work as Deputy Prime Minister and Deputy Labor Leader. He was the most formidable Leader of House I have ever seen.

I would also like to thank Chris Bowen. His efforts as interim leader have been greatly appreciated by both the caucus and members of the Labor Party.

14 OCTOBER 2013

CANBERRA

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