COAG Discussions Focus On Terrorism, Federation And Taxation

The Council of Australian Governments met in Canberra and discussed a range of issues, including terrorism, reform of the Federation and the taxation system.

COAG

The Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, held a joint press conference following the meeting. He was accompanied by Premiers Baird, Napthine, Newman, Barnett, Weatherill and Hodgman, as well as the Territory Chief Ministers Gallagher and Giles. Felicity-Ann Lewis represented Local Government.

The State have agreed to introduce legislation to support federal laws covering the arrest, monitoring, investigation and prosecution of domestic extremists and returning foreign fighters.

COAG also agreed that the Federation and Tax Reform White Papers need to progress together. [Read more...]


Abbott Government Commits Defence Aircraft To Coalition Airstrikes Against ISIL In Iraq

The Abbott government will commit up to eight Australian F/A-18F Super Hornet aircraft to participate in airstrikes against ISIL in Iraq.

Abbott

Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced the decision at a joint press conference with the Defence Minister, Senator David Johnston, and the Chief of the Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin, following a Cabinet meeting.

“This is not a decision the Government has taken lightly,” Abbott said. “Ultimately it is Iraq that must defeat ISIL, but it cannot do it alone.” [Read more...]


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.”

  • Listen to Abbott’s statement (17m – transcript below)

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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...]