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
SUBJECT/S: Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran
SAMANTHA ARMYTAGE: Okay Tanya Plibersek joins us now, the Opposition Deputy Leader,Tanya thanks for coming in, horrific scenes coming out of Cilacap this morning.
TANYA PLIBERSEK, DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Its a terrible time and of course our thoughts go immediately toAndrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran'sfamily, friends, the legal teamthats worked so hard on theirbehalf and our consular and embassyofficials in Indonesia. I thinkmost Australians whove watchedthe footage that weve seen overthe last few days have been hurtand angered that our pleas formercy, our pleas for clemencyhaven't been heeded and indeed what thefamilies of these young men havebeen put through over the lastdecade but certainly over the lastdays and weeks is beyond endurance.
ANDREW OKEEFE: Tanya, the Prime Minister stated,you know, very emphatically thatAustralia respects the Indonesianlegal system and Indonesiansovereignty. But also very clearlystated that he felt clemency shouldhave been granted in this situationbecause of the nature of therehabilitation of these men and thepunishment they already suffered.What do you think the appropriateresponse is in this situation?
PLIBERSEK: Well, of course, weve heard thismorning that the Government will bewithdrawing our Ambassador and continuing the suspension of highlevel meetings between Australianministers and Indonesian ministers.I think they are appropriateresponses.
Weve been asbipartisan as possible insupporting the government to pleadfor clemency for these young menand I believe that the actions thatthe government have taken to try and get clemency for them and nowto show our displeasure toIndonesia are appropriate.
ARMYTAGE: TheGovernment, Julie Bishop Foreign Minister, said that they had heard nothing from the Indonesians,nothing to confirm that theseexecutions had taken place. Now weare seeing the coffins and the ambulances. How wouldyou describe the Indonesians treatment of the AustralianGovernment throughout this?
PLIBERSEK: I thinktheir treatment has been hurtful inthe extreme. We are two countriesthat have had long and friendlyrelations. We have pleaded formercy for our citizens, those pleashave not been heard. But in addition to that, to see the waythat the families have been exposedin these media scrums, to receiveno formal notification, it's deeplyhurtful for Australians.
OKEEFE: The Foreign Minister had said that, you know, in Australia anyway, rehabilitation and the kind oftransformation that we have seen on the part of these two men is afundamental aspect of a successfulpenal system. When thisimmediately agony blows over as itis bound to do, what do you think Australianeeds to be doing to agitate against the deathpenalty not only in our region butaround the world?
PLIBERSEK: I think that's areally critical point. We are so hurttoday because weve lost thesetwo young men who its reportedwere in their last hourscomforting the other prisoners whohad clearly done the wrong andstupid and damaging thing adecade ago but had spent those10 years in jail reformingthemselves and repaying their debt to society. They tell the storythat reform is possible. The deathpenalty wipes out the opportunity of reform. We should say, not just toIndonesia but to every country thatstill has the death penalty, that sometimesmistakes are made. For that reasonalone, we shouldn't have the deathpenalty but secondly, the deathpenalty wipes out the opportunityof reform and repaying a debt tosociety and it's a sentence not justfor these two young men but foreveryone who loves them.
ARMYTAGE: Okay, alright, Tanya Plibersek, thank you for your time thismorning. We appreciate you comingin.