THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP
DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
MEMBER FOR SYDNEY
TODAY ON SATURDAY
SATURDAY, 19 JULY 2014
SUBJECT/S: MH 17
DEBORAH KNIGHT, PRESENTER: And as Australia does come to grip with the MH17 disaster we’re joined this morning by Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs, Tanya Plibersek. Minister good morning. It is a terrible tragedy for Australia and the world, something that we’re all really grappling to comprehend.
TANYA PLIBERSEK, DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Deb it is shocking. You don't ever expect to see such news, a civilian passenger plane shot down like this, almost 300 lives lost. We know today a little more about the Australians that have lost their lives. Very ordinary people, mums, dads, kids, teachers, grandparents, people who were doing something that they should have been absolutely perfectly safe to do, boarding a passenger plane, flying home, many of them to Australia. We also know, sadly, that many of the people from other nations were on their way to Melbourne for the International AIDS Conference. It seems that up to a third of the passengers may have been en route to this, the 20th International AIDS Conference. So you've got people there who are researchers, people who have been working in developing countries trying to get medicines to people who are dying of AIDS around the world, and the loss of people who have spent their lives, dedicated their lives to serving others, I think alongside these terrible tragedies of Australian lives lost I think we give special thought to those people too.
KNIGHT: Indeed a large pall hanging over the conference as it gets underway in Melbourne tomorrow. What sort of action do you think should be taken against Vladimir Putin and against Russia? It really is an act of murder against innocent civilians.
PLIBERSEK: Certainly this is an act of murder, but the first thing that we have to do is establish exactly what's happened. The Security Council will call on an independent, transparent, international investigation. Investigators must be at the site as quickly as possible. Unfortunately it looks, from the footage and the photographs we have seen, that civilians and indeed possibly military personnel or rebels are wandering all over the site, interfering with the site, that's completely unacceptable. It is vital that we get an international aircraft investigation team there straight away. The black box of the plane needs to be secured and evidence of exactly what has happened needs to be secured. It is very important that Russia, as a good international citizen, supports the UN Security Council resolution to have that investigation team on to the site as quickly as possible.
KNIGHT: If Russia is implicated as a result of this investigation what should the global community do to act? Australia, for example, should we consider imposing trade sanctions against Russia? What should be done?
PLIBERSEK: Look, I think it is - we're a step ahead of ourselves. Today is a day of mourning, we need to be thinking about the friends and family of those who have lost their lives. The next step is determining exactly what has happened, so pressure needs to be brought to bear to ensure that Ukraine cooperates and Russia cooperates with an international team of air crash investigators going into the site as quickly as possible, with all of the evidence being secured as quickly as possible. The next step, it looks very likely that this is a surface to air missile. People have speculated about the type of missile it is. The next step, once that is proved, is to find out who fired the missile and where they got it from. So let's take this step by step now.
KNIGHT: The families of the 28 Australians who have been killed are grappling with been their loss. Compensation funds have been set up in the past for previous terror attacks for the Bali and London bombings. Should that be extended in this case too?
PLIBERSEK: Well if the Government does that I'll be very supportive of that. I would think that would be appropriate in such circumstances.
KNIGHT: All right Tanya Plibersek we thank you for your time this morning.
PLIBERSEK: Thank you Deb.