Julie Bishop And Bill Shorten Speak At AFL Grand Final Breakfast

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten have joked their way through brief speeches to the AFL Grand Final Breakfast in Melbourne.

Bishop

Bishop joked that the last time she was in Melbourne she had been given a warm welcome by students at Melbourne University. She said Cabinet had considered who should attend the breakfast: “Tony Abbott thought it was the ARL, and Malcolm Turnbull thought it was the URL. So we decided to choose between the women… oh… um, look, moving right along…” She then took a swipe at Shorten, likening him to a football selector choosing ALP leaders. [Read more...]


Truss And Shorten Address Parliament On Shooting Of Melbourne Teenager

The Acting Prime Minister, Warren Truss, and the Opposition Leader, Bill Shorten, have addressed Parliament on the shooting of a Melbourne teenager last night.

The 18-year-old, Numan Haider, was shot dead outside the Endeavour Hills police station. He had used a knife to attack an Australian Federal Police officer and a Victoria Police officer.

Media reports today say that Haider was also carrying a bigger knife and an Islamic State flag. The reports say police suspect Haider intended to behead a police officer and post the images online.

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Hansard transcript of statements by Acting Prime Minister Warren Truss and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten.

Mr TRUSS: Madam Speaker, it is appropriate that I should make a statement to the House regarding the incident at Endeavour Hills police station yesterday. At approximately 7.45 pm last night, one Australian Federal Police officer and one Victorian police officer were subject to an unprovoked attack from an 18-year-old man armed with a knife. The two officers were wounded in the attack; one received multiple wounds and was seriously injured. During the conflict, one officer fired upon the attacker and killed him. [Read more...]


Shorten Maintains Support For Abbott Government On Iraq; Also Outlines Conditions

The Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten, has reiterated the ALP’s support for the Abbott government’s “humanitarian” mission in Iraq, whilst setting out conditions for continuing support.

Shorten

Shorten responded in the House of Representatives to a Statement on National Security by Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

He said: “Labor fully supports Australia’s contribution to the international humanitarian mission to Iraq. We do not offer this lightly. Sending Australians into harm’s way is the most serious of decisions. Our support for the government on this issue is not a matter of jingoism or nationalism; it is a calculation of conscience and national interest.” [Read more...]


Islamic State Beheadings Plot Alleged Following Terrorist Raid Arrests In Sydney And Brisbane

Federal Police raids this morning have resulted in a 22-year old man, Omarjan Azari, appearing in a Sydney court charged with planning a terrorist act designed to “shock, horrify and terrify”.

Azari is accused of conspiring with Mohammad Baryalei, the man described as a “top terrorist recruiter” in Australia. The arrest is one of about 15 resulting from raids across western Sydney and Brisbane. The raids, involving 800 police and described as the largest in Australian history, took place as a result of information gleaned from an intercepted telephone conversation in recent days.

Media reports say the arrests related to a plot to capture and behead a random member of the public. Reports say the plan involved filming the beheading as a propaganda tool for the Islamic State movement (also known as ISIL or IS) in Iraq. The basis and veracity of these claims is uncertain. The Australian Federal Police have been guarded in their comments on the raids. Prime Minister Tony Abbott said: “This is not just suspicion, this is intent.”

Political leaders were quick to respond to the raids during the day.

Newman

Queensland Premier Campbell Newman held a press conference with Police Commissioner Ian Stewart. Opposition Leader Bill Shorten commented on the raids, as did the ALP’s Immigration spokesman, Richard Marles, and Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young. [Read more...]


ALP Supports Military Commitment To Iraq, Greens Opposed

The Labor Opposition has given its support to the government’s commitment of RAAF aircraft and military personnel to the fight against ISIL in Iraq, whilst the Greens have opposed it.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten described ISIL as a “barbaric organisation” and said: “Labor supports today’s announcement of the deployment of an Australian military force – including RAAF assets and personnel – to the United Arab Emirates.”

Shorten said the ALP didn’t do so lightly: “But we support the Government’s decision that Australia has a role to play in eradicating this evil and we are reassured that our support is being provided at the request of, and in full coordination with, the Iraqi Government.”

Milne

In Hobart, Greens leader Senator Christine Milne criticised the commitment, describing it as open-ended and lacking a plan for engagement.

Milne said there was no indication of the duration of the mission or the criteria for its success: “How long? How many people? What measure of success? Nobody knows.” [Read more...]