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Prime Minister of Australia

The Hon Tony Abbott MP


19 December 2014

  • The news out of Cairns is heartbreaking. All parents would feel a gut-wrenching sadness at what has happened. This is an unspeakable crime. These are trying days for our country. Tonight, there will be tears and prayers across our country for these children. My thoughts are with the Queensland Police and all who have to respond to this terrible situation.

  • With deep regret, I have accepted the resignation of Senator Arthur Sinodinos from the ministry. Earlier this week, Arthur advised me that the ICAC investigation would most likely continue at least until March. Knowing Arthur as I do, I am confident he will be vindicated.

17 December 2014

  • In the aftermath of the horrific Martin Place siege and following the tragic loss of innocent lives, we must learn what we can from this incident and implement any changes necessary at the State and Federal level. The Commonwealth and New South Wales governments will urgently conduct a review into the Martin Place siege and what lessons can be learned from the events leading up to and surrounding the siege. As our State and Commonwealth law enforcement and security agencies work together to keep Australia safe, the review will identify important lessons for the future.

16 December 2014

  • Early this morning, the Martin Place siege ended with the death of the lone gunman and tragically, the loss of two hostages – innocent Australians caught up in the horror of yesterday’s events in Sydney. I have instructed that the Australian National Flag be flown at half-mast today at all Commonwealth Government buildings as a mark of respect and mourning for the innocent victims involved in the Martin Place siege. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the two deceased hostages, the wounded, and the other hostages.

  • Australians awoke to the news this morning that the siege in Martin Place has ended. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the two deceased hostages, the wounded and the other hostages. I commend the courage and professionalism of the New South Wales Police and other emergency services involved. Early this morning I was briefed on developments by New South Wales Premier Mike Baird and New South Wales Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione, as well as Australian Federal Police Commissioner Andrew Colvin.

15 December 2014

  • New South Wales Police and the Australian Federal Police are currently responding to a reported hostage-taking incident in Martin Place in Sydney. I have spoken with NSW Premier Mike Baird and offered him all possible Commonwealth support and assistance. The National Security Committee of Cabinet has also convened for briefings on the situation.

12 December 2014

  • A record number of gifts has been collected under the Prime Minister’s Wishing Tree. This morning, representatives from the Salvation Army and Kmart joined me to pack over 1,000 gifts that had been donated by visitors to my office. The gifts will help around 250 Australian families to celebrate Christmas. By Christmas Eve, the Salvation Army is aiming to distribute 500,000 gifts to families around Australia.

  • Mr Doug Trappett will be Australia’s first resident Ambassador to Ukraine. Mr Trappett’s appointment coincides with the first visit to Australia by a President of Ukraine. His Excellency President Petro Poroshenko is currently visiting Australia. The Prime Minister thanked President Poroshenko for Ukraine’s support following the downing of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 in which all 298 on board died, including 38 Australians.

  • Given the continuing unrest in Ukraine, extensions will be granted to eligible Ukrainian nationals in Australia on temporary visas. The Commonwealth Government has made the decision to extend the arrangements which were put in place in March. Ukrainian nationals who are currently in Australia on a visitor visa due to expire and who may be affected by the unrest in the Ukraine will be able to approach the Department of Immigration to make an application for an extension of their visa for a further six months.

  • The Governor-General has appointed the Hon John Lloyd PSM as the Australian Public Service Commissioner for a period of five years commencing on 14 December 2014. Mr Lloyd brings to the role extensive public sector experience particularly in the areas of employment and workplace relations. At the Commonwealth level, Mr Lloyd was the Australian Building and Construction Commissioner between 2005 and 2010, a Senior Deputy President of the Australian Industrial Relations Commission and a Deputy Secretary of the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations.


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