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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript - 23653

Statement to the House of Representatives, Parliament House, Canberra

Photo of Abbott, Tony

Abbott, Tony

Period of Service: 18/09/2013 to 15/09/2015

More information about Abbott, Tony on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 18/07/2014

Release Type: Speech

Transcript ID: 23653

Madam Speaker, I claim the indulgence of the Parliament to make a statement about some very significant events that have happened overnight.

Madam Speaker, this is a grim day for our country and it’s a grim day for our world.

Malaysia Airlines MH17 has been shot down over the Eastern Ukraine it seems by Russian backed rebels.

298 people have been killed. At least 27 Australians have been killed.

Our hearts go out to the families of all the dead. Our thoughts and prayers especially are with the families of the Australian dead.

We can’t restore them to life but we can and will do everything to support them in this sad and bitter time because that is the Australian way – we help in times of trouble.

Madam Speaker, a Department of Foreign Affairs team is preparing to leave for Kiev. Next of kin and families will be notified as soon as possible. They’ll be offered counselling and assistance and bodies will be repatriated to Australia as quickly as possible.

Madam Speaker, we owe it as well to the families of the dead to find out exactly what has happened and exactly who is responsible.

As things stand, Madam Speaker, this looks less like an accident than a crime. I want to repeat this: as things stand, this looks less like an accident than a crime. If so, the perpetrators must be brought to justice.

So I can inform the House that as quickly as possible Australia will be working at the United Nations Security Council for a binding resolution calling for a full and impartial investigation with full access to the site, with full access to the debris, with full access to the black box and with full access to all individuals who might be in a position to shed light on this terrible event.

I can also inform the House that the Minister for Foreign Affairs will shortly summons the Russian Ambassador to seek a categoric assurance from the Ambassador that the Russian government will fully cooperate in this investigation.

Madam Speaker, we owe it to the dead and their families, we owe it to the peace and stability of the wider world to establish the facts and we will do all we humanly can to bring that about.

Let me conclude with this: the bullying of small countries by big ones, the trampling of justice and decency in the pursuit of national aggrandisement and reckless indifference to human life should have no place in our world.

[ends]

Transcript - 23653