Tony Abbott’s Address To The United Nations General Assembly

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has addressed the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York.

AbbottAbbott’s speech was a general statement of principles in which he talked of the United Nations as a body that works for the “common good”. He itemised Australia’s contribution to global issues since the organisation’s founding in 1947.

Abbott said: “Since 1947, Australia has provided more than 65,000 personnel to more than 50 multilateral peace and security operations. We are not a country accustomed to turning back once we’ve put our hand to the plough; we’ve had blue beret personnel in the Middle East since 1956 and in Cyprus since 1964. When leadership is needed, we step up, as we did in Bougainville, in Timor-Leste and in Solomon Islands. In Korea, Cambodia, Kuwait and Afghanistan; in Somalia and Sierra Leone and in other troubled places, Australians have lent a hand under the UN’s banner.”

Abbott appropriated the words of Labor Prime Minister Ben Chifley in describing the work of the UN: “One of our prime ministers once talked about a great objective, our ‘light on the hill‘ as he put it, to work for the betterment of mankind, not just at home but wherever we can lend a helping hand.” [Read more...]


Tony Abbott Statement On National Security: “Balance Between Freedom And Security Will Have To Shift”

The Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, says “the delicate balance between freedom and security will have to shift” for “some time to come”.

Delivering a statement on national security to the House of Representatives, Abbott said: “Regrettably, for some time to come, Australians will have to endure more security than we’re used to, and more inconvenience than we’d like.”

He said: “There may be more restrictions on some so that there can be more protections for others. After all, Madam Speaker, the most basic freedom of all is the freedom to walk the streets unharmed and to sleep safe in our beds at night.”

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Transcript of Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s Statement on National Security to the House of Representatives.

Statement to Parliament on National Security

Madam Speaker, because protecting our people is the first duty of government, it’s right that I should update the House on developing challenges to our national security.

I acknowledge the commitment of all MPs to keeping our people safe and I especially acknowledge the support that the Leader of the Opposition has given to the Government on this subject. [Read more...]


Abbott Says Federal Police Now Handling External And Internal Security At Parliament House

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has announced that the Australian Federal Police have taken over responsibility for the external and internal security at Parliament House.

Abbott reiterated his previous remarks on terrorism but little information on yesterday’s terrorism raids and arrests was forthcoming at his joint press conference today.

Abbott

Abbott was accompanied by the NSW Premier, Mike Baird, Acting Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police, Andrew Colvin, and NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione. They refused to say how many people were still under arrest and would not comment on whether any of those detained were involved in plans to attack Parliament House. [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...]


Combat Aircraft To Join Coalition Against ISIL; Advisers But No Combat Troops; Australia Responds To US Request

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has announced that Australian combat aircraft will join the international coalition against ISIL in Iraq.

Abbott

Abbott said up to eight RAAF F/A18 aircraft, an E-7A Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft, and a KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker and Transport aircraft will be deployed to the United Arab Emirates.

The Australian Defence Force (ADF) will also prepare a Special Operations Task Group to act as military advisers to assist Iraq. ADF personnel will also be placed in the United States Headquarters for coordination, planning and logistics purposes.

Whilst around 600 Australian personnel will be sent to the Middle East, combat troops will not be deployed. [Read more...]