26 January 2015
Her Majesty The Queen has accepted my recommendation that His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston AC (Mil) AFC (Retd) be awarded Australia’s highest honour as Knights of the Order of Australia.
25 January 2015
The Commonwealth Government will make it simpler to adopt children from overseas. A new one-stop-shop will be established – the Intercountry Adoption Support Service – to help Australian families work through what can be a long, frustrating and painful process. Prospective families will be able to access a dedicated 1800 help line and a special website.Trained staff will advocate on their behalf, dealing with state authorities and partner countries.
23 January 2015
The Commonwealth Government extends its deepest condolences to the Government and people of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on the death of King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud. King Abdullah was a key architect of Saudi Arabia’s economic and political development. Amongst his many achievements, he oversaw the transformation of the Kingdom’s economy, presided over the first municipal elections, and supported an expanded role for the consultative Shura Council, including the appointment of women.
The Commonwealth Government will establish a Digital Transformation Office (DTO) within the Department of Communications so that government services can be delivered digitally from start to finish and better serve the needs of citizens and businesses. The DTO will comprise a small team of developers, designers, researchers and content specialists working across government to develop and coordinate the delivery of digital services. The DTO will operate more like a start-up than a traditional government agency, focussing on end-user needs in developing digital services.
Australia opposes the death penalty at home and abroad. While Australia respects Indonesia’s sovereignty, we are asking that Indonesia reconsider its decision to execute two Australian citizens. The government has made representations at the highest levels. The Foreign Affairs Minister and I have both made representations to our Indonesian counterparts and are continuing to make every possible effort through the most effective channels to stop Mr Sukumaran and Mr Chan being executed.
22 January 2015
This afternoon I spoke with Prime Minister Abe to convey Australia’s solidarity and support for Japan. Australia utterly condemns the actions of Daesh and its threat to murder two Japanese citizens. It is an outrage for Japan to have the lives of two citizens threatened by this murderous group. Australia stands with Japan as it faces this horrifying situation and calls on the captors to release these men and all other hostages.
20 January 2015
Ground was broken today on the first major road upgrade for the new Western Sydney airport at Badgerys Creek. Work is now underway on stage one of the $509 million Bringelly Road upgrade, the first upgrade in a $3.6 billion package to provide essential road infrastructure that will create jobs, reduce congestion and improve safety for all road users. The investment by the Commonwealth and NSW Governments will help build a stronger and more prosperous Western Sydney by helping businesses within the South West Growth Centre to capitalise on the economic gains from developing a new Western Sydney airport.
15 January 2015
Joint Statement on the entry into force of the agreement between Japan and Australia for an economic partnership
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott warmly welcome the entry into force on 15 January 2015 of the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement (JAEPA). JAEPA represents an historic development in economic relations between Japan and Australia and is the most significant bilateral economic agreement since the 1957 Agreement on Commerce. JAEPA lays the foundation for the next phase of bilateral economic relations, and will strengthen “the special strategic partnership” between Japan and Australia.
10 January 2015
On the 10th of January 1940, the first convoy of the Second Australian Imperial Force departed for war. Over 5,000 men aboard the liners Otranto, Orcades, Orford and Strathnaver left Sydney Harbour to a chorus of whistles and cheers. Some men would have felt fear, others anticipation. Most, perhaps, a measure of both.
08 January 2015
Today the Commonwealth Government announced that both the Disaster Recovery Payment and the Disaster Recovery Allowance will be provided to eligible residents affected by the Sampson Flat Bushfire in the Mount Lofty Ranges region of South Australia. This is a difficult time for those affected by the bushfire, which has had a devastating impact on local communities. We also thank our remarkable fire fighters and rescue crews who, through their dedication and selflessness, have ensured that there has been no loss of life. The Commonwealth Government assistance announced today is over and above the support already being provided under the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements, which were announced on Sunday.