Ministerial Statement On Iraq: Abbott And Shorten Unite In House

The Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, has made a Ministerial Statement on Iraq in the House of Representatives.

Describing the ISIL movement as a “death cult”, Abbott said “Australian aircraft have participated in humanitarian airdrops to people trapped on Mount Sinjar and, just yesterday, to the besieged inhabitants of the town of Amerli”.

He said in coming days Australian aircraft will take part in an airlift of supplies to the Kurdish government in Erbil.

Abbott said: “So far, we have met requests for humanitarian relief and for logistical support. So far, there has been no request for military action itself.”

The Opposition Leader, Bill Shorten, responded to Abbott’s statement, and offered the Opposition’s support to the government’s position.

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Transcript of Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s Ministerial Statement on Iraq.

Many Australians are understandably apprehensive about the risk of becoming involved in another long and costly conflict in the Middle East. [Read more...]


Federal Government Expands Sanctions Against Russia Over Ukraine Violations

The Abbott government has expanded sanctions against Russia over its violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty.

The new sanctions include restrictions on arms exports and goods and services used in oil exploration or production. They include restrictions on the access of Russian state-owned banks to Australian capital markets and on Australian investment in Crimea.

Statement released by Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

Expanded Sanctions Against Russia

The Government is deeply concerned by escalating events in Ukraine.

Russia has been engaged in a campaign to destabilise Ukraine for months. As a consequence, 38 people who called Australia home were brutally murdered, along with many others, when Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 was shot down from territory controlled by Russian-backed rebels with a Russian-supplied missile. [Read more...]


Abbott Announces Assistance For Military Airlift To Kurds; No Request Yet For Further Action

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has announced that Australia will join an airlift of military equipment to the Kurds in northern Iraq.

PM Tony Abbott and CDF Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin at their joint press conference today

Speaking at a joint press conference with the Chief of Defence, Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin, Abbott said the government had agreed to a request from the Obama Administration. The US, UK, Canada, France and Italy will also be involved in the airlift.

Abbott said “no specific request” has been received from the Obama Administration for “stepped up military activity”. He said that “just because we would prefer to stand aside from these conflicts doesn’t mean that these conflicts will stand aside from us”. Any request would be considered according to a range of criteria, including whether there is an achievable overall objective and a clear role for Australian forces.

  • Watch Channel 7 News report (2m)

Transcript of joint press conference with the Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, and Chief of the Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin.

Abbott

PRIME MINISTER: Well thanks everyone for coming. As you know over recent weeks and months we’ve seen a series of developments in Iraq and elsewhere but particularly in Iraq which constitute not only a humanitarian catastrophe but a security nightmare for the people of the region and for the wider world. We’ve seen beheadings, crucifixions, mass executions, we’ve seen minority groups, subject in President Obama’s words to potential genocide. The situation remains severe and it will remain severe as long as the ISIL movement retains control over large swathes of northern and western Iraq and parts of eastern Syria. [Read more...]


Rebuilding Australia: Warren Truss Addresses Nationals Federal Council

The Leader of The Nationals, Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss, has addressed the party’s Federal Council meeting in Canberra today.

Abbott-Truss

Truss said The Nationals had made the “strongest contribution to the election of a Coalition Government in some three decades”, with a party room that now numbered 21.

He told the Council: “We did not create the economic mess that besets our country, but we were elected to fix it. And, under Tony Abbott’s leadership, the Coalition has set about the task with determination and commitment.”

Truss said the government had “effectively stopped the boats” and ended the “ridiculous carbon tax”. He outlined a series of roads and other funding measures the government has undertaken in rural and regional areas.

Truss was introduced by Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who said the government was “getting the fundamentals right”. Abbott said Truss was at “the heart of this government”. He described the Rudd-Gillard government as years “for the locusts to eat”.

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Transcript of Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss’s Address to The Nationals Federal Council meeting in Canberra.

To my friend and the Prime Minister of Australia Tony Abbott welcome.

Doug Anthony, Peter Nixon, Nationals President Christine Ferguson, Ministers, parliamentary colleagues, ladies and gentlemen,

Well, it is now almost exactly 15 months since our last Federal Conference – and what an extraordinary year – and a quarter – it has been. [Read more...]


Abbott Kills 18C Repeal; New Counter-Terrorism Measures To Cost $630m Over Four Years

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has abandoned government plans to repeal Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act.

Abbott-Brandis-Bishop

Section 18c makes it an offence to offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate a person or group on the basis of their race, colour, or national or ethnic origin.

The proposed repeal of 18C has been the subject of intense debate since the government’s election last year. The legislation is “off the table”, Abbott told a press conference in Canberra. He said he did not want to jeopardise “national unity” and it was “a complication we just don’t need and we’re just not going to proceed with it”.

Flanked by Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Attorney-General Senator George Brandis, Abbott also announced a series of counter-terrorism measures that will cost $630 million over the next four years. [Read more...]