THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP
DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS
AND INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
MEMBER FOR SYDNEY
WEDNESDAY, 29 APRIL 2015
SUBJECTS: Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran
STEVE CHASE, PRESENTER: Good morning, Tanya Plibersek. What are your thoughts at this sad time in the nation’s history?
TANYA PLIBERSEK, DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: I think of course all our first thoughts are with the families of Andrew and Myuran, their friends, the legal teams that have tried so hard to save their lives and of course our consular and diplomatic staff that have worked so hard on their behalf for many years. But secondly, of course, I think that it’s important that Australia expresses its deep sadness and displeasure to the Indonesian Government. I think many Australians feel very hurt that our pleas for mercy were ignored in this case and very concerned that the legal processes were still underway in this case were not allowed to run their course.
CHASE: Now we are expecting to hear from Julie Bishop in the next little while. I imagine that as the Shadow Foreign Affairs Minister you’ve been kept up to date on developments but it is a testing time in terms of whether there should be a knee jerk reaction to Indonesia. What’s the very least the Opposition think should be done in this circumstance as far as Indonesia is concerned?
PLIBERSEK: There have been reports of course that the Government will consider recalling our Ambassador for a time and certainly if the Government decides to do that we’ll be supportive of that. Other than that, I think it’s important for the Foreign Minister to have the opportunity to lay out the actions that the Government intends to take. We have made a great effort as an Opposition to be bipartisan on this issue and I have to say that I think the Government have done everything they could to save the lives of these two young men so we’ll wait for the Government to make any further announcements.
CHASE: What about the longer term issue of what should be done to try to turn Indonesia’s policy of capital punishment around? The point has been made this morning that while two of our people were executed, there are nationals from other countries as well. Do you see a glimmer of hope that there could be some sort of coalition to try and change Indonesia’s mind?
PLIBERSEK: Well I think it’s not just important to campaign against the death penalty in Indonesia, it’s important to campaign against the death penalty wherever it is. Australia has long been a country that has rejected the use of the death penalty and we would urge not just Indonesia but other countries to abandon this most terrible punishment.
CHASE: Just a personal question, how has it affected you? Did you get much sleep last night knowing that this was coming today?
PLIBERSEK: No, not much.
CHASE: We’ll leave it there but Tanya Plibersek, thank you very much for speaking to us this morning.