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Tony Abbott’s D-Day Message: Landings, Trade And Democracy

The Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, will leave Australia at the end of this week to attend the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings.

Abbott came under criticism today for linking the D-Day anniversary with the government’s economic policies. In his weekly video message and a media release, Abbott says: “We stood together at D-Day, we trade every day and we have always shared a commitment to democracy, to enterprise and to people’s right to be free.”

The Prime Minister’s website subsequently posted a second media release with a different emphasis.

D-Day took place on June 6, 1944 when the Allied nations, led by the United States and Britain, launched a seaborne invasion of Normandy, on the northern coast of France. The invasion led to the defeat of Germany 11 months later and the end of the war in Europe.

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Media release from Prime Minister Tony Abbott, dated June 1, 2014.

A Message From The Prime Minister – 70th Anniversary Of The D-Day Landings

This week the world will commemorate the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings.

The D-day landings changed the course of human history.

As part of the commemoration, I will join seven Australians who were there 70 years ago.

Over 3,000 Australians were involved – including 2,500 air force personnel who provided air support for the Allied landings.

Following the D-day commemorations, I will be travelling to Canada and the United States – and will be joined by Australian business leaders.

My message to overseas investors is that Australia is open for business.

The Government’s Economic Action Strategy to lower tax, cut red tape and encourage trade will improve the competitiveness of businesses – so that we can build a stronger Australia.

We welcome investment and we are making investment more attractive by scrapping the carbon tax and the mining tax, cutting 50,000 pages of red tape and ending the “analysis paralysis” on major projects.

Our international partners can see that our Budget is again under control, we are tackling debt and deficits and we are serious about building a strong and prosperous economy.

This year Australia hosts the G20 summit to encourage growth around the world and I will be advancing that cause during this trip.

The United States, Canada and France are long standing friends. We stood together at D-Day, we trade every day and we have always shared a commitment to democracy, to enterprise and to people’s right to be free.

Media release from Prime Minister Abbott, dated May 31, 2014.

Visit to France, Canada and the United States of America

To mark the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings and Normandy campaign, I will attend an official commemoration in France on June 6.

More than 3,000 Australians fought in support of the D-Day landings, 18 were killed.

I will join French President Francois Hollande and other heads of government at the British services at the Bayeux Cathedral and Cemetery and the international ceremony at Sword Beach, Ouistreham.

Seven Australian D-Day veterans will accompany me for the commemorative services – Robert Cowper OAM, Stuart Davis, Phillip Elger, Francis Evans, Ronald Houghton, Billy Purdy and Frederick Riley.

On June 7 I will visit the Western Front to pay tribute to the 295,000 Australians who served there between 1916 and 1918 and honour the 46,000 who lost their lives. I will visit the Australian National Memorial at Villers-Bretonneux and Pozieres.

As part of the 100th anniversary of ANZAC, I would like to see a greater focus on Australia’s role on the western front. The Government is considering constructing an interpretive centre at Villers-Bretonneux.

Following my visit to France, I will travel to Canada and the United States of America to hold formal talks with the Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and US President Barack Obama.

The US and Canada are important strategic partners of Australia. I will be accompanied by a business delegation to strengthen trade and business ties between our countries.

I will visit Ottawa, New York, Washington, Houston and Pearl Harbour.

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