Federal Police To Join Multinational Mission At Flight MH17 Crash Site

The Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, held his seventh consecutive daily press conference today, appearing with the Federal Police Commissioner, Tony Negus, to announce that Australian police will join the Dutch-led multinational mission to the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17.

Abbott said the mission “will be swift”. He said the Australian Federal Police officers will not be armed and that “meticulous planning” has gone into mitigating the risks in a “difficult environment”.

Media release from Prime Minister Tony Abbott:

Operation Bring Them Home: AFP to Join Dutch-led Multinational Police Mission

Australia will contribute to a Dutch-led multinational police mission to the crash site of MH17. I expect the first contingent of Australian police will arrive at the crash site later today with Dutch colleagues to begin their important work.

First and foremost, the purpose of the mission is to recover further remains from the site. The police mission also will seek to remove wreckage from the site and, to the extent possible, obtain information that will assist investigators. [Read more...]


Abbott Holds Sixth Press Conference In Six Days On Flight MH17

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has held his sixth press conference in six days on the recovery operation for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17.

AbbottAs he has done throughout the week, Abbott stressed that Australia is engaged in a humanitarian operation.

Abbott said that “others can get involved if they wish in the politics of Eastern Europe. Our sole concern is to claim our dead and bring them home”.

He said: “That is our mission: to secure the remains, to assist the investigation, and to obtain justice for the victims and their loved ones.”

Abbott indicated that an agreement with the Ukrainian government to allow Australian police involvement in the investigation at the crash site has been negotiated but requires ratification by the Ukrainian parliament.

  • Listen to Abbott’s press conference (9m)

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Transcript of Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s Canberra press conference today.

ABBOTT: Thanks everyone for being here and thanks for being here on a Saturday.

What I wanted to do was give you an update on Operation Bring Them Home. [Read more...]


Another 100 Federal Police Deployed For MH17 Recovery; We Just Want To Bring Home Our Dead, Says Abbott

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has announced that a further 100 Australian Federal Police officers are being deployed to assist in the recovery and investigation of the attack on Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17.

Abbott-Negus

The contingent of police officers will leave today. They will be “pre-deployed” to The Netherlands. Some will be armed.

Abbott said the government is “close to finalising” an arrangement for Australian police to assist in the investigation. [Read more...]


Morrison Announces Tamil Asylum Seekers Will Be Brought To Mainland For Processing

The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Scott Morrison, has announced that the government will bring 157 Tamil asylum seekers to the Australian mainland for processing.

Morrison

The Tamils have been on an Australian customs vessel in the Indian Ocean since last month. The High Court ruled that they could not be handed over to Sri Lankan officials.

The asylum seekers will have access to Indian consular officials but they will not be given the opportunity for resettlement in Australia. They are expected to be brought to Cocos Island and then to the Curtin detention centre in Western Australia, although Morrison would not confirm these details. [Read more...]


Greg Combet Says Julia Gillard Offered To Stand Aside For Him

Greg Combet, a senior minister in the previous Labor government, says then Prime Minister Julia Gillard offered to stand aside to allow him to assume the leadership.

Combet appeared in an interview broadcast on the ABC’s 7.30 program tonight. Combet’s memoirs, The Fights of My Life, will be released next week and launched by Gillard.

Combet says that he approached Gillard in mid-June last year and was of the view that a ballot for the leadership should be held. He said Gillard offered to stand aside if he put his name forward. He says he declined because he thought the momentum for Rudd’s return was well-developed and that it would be a difficult political manoeuvre to “pull off”. Facing a personal health problem, Combet said he decided not to nominate. [Read more...]


Abbott Says 50 Australian Police Deployed For Operation Bring Them Home

Prime Minister Tony Abbott says around two hundred Australians have been deployed overseas as part of Operation Bring Them Home.

Abbott

Abbott said 50 Australian police have been pre-deployed to London, in anticipation that they can be sent to Ukraine to secure the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17. [Read more...]


A Message From The Maslin-Norris Family

This message from the Maslin-Norris family has been released on their behalf by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Anthony Maslin and Marite Norris, from Perth, lost their children – Evie, 10, Mo, 12 and Otis, 8 – and the children’s grandfather, Nick Norris, in the attack on Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17.

The graphic has been posted on Twitter by multiple users. Its provenance is unclear.

Maslin