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Prime Minister of Australia

The Hon Tony Abbott MP


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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Two more issues papers – on health and housing and homelessness – have been released to inform the White Paper on the Reform of the Federation. The issues papers will promote discussion ahead of the White Paper and were developed in consultation with the States and Territories and the Australian Local Government Association. Our Federation has helped to shape a free, fair and prosperous nation.

10 December 2014

  • Consistent with our commitment to play our part in the global response to climate change, Australia will pledge $200 million over four years to the Green Climate Fund. The announcement will be made to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Lima, Peru today by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Hon Julie Bishop MP.


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