SENATOR PENNY WONG
LEADER OF THE AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY IN THE SENATE
SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS
LABOR SENATOR FOR SOUTH AUSTRALIA
SENATOR KRISTINA KENEALLY
DEPUTY LABOR LEADER IN THE SENATE
SHADOW MINISTER FOR HOME AFFAIRS
SHADOW MINISTER FOR IMMIGRATION AND CITIZENSHIP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY
SENATOR FOR NEW SOUTH WALES
BRENDAN O'CONNOR MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR DEFENCE
MEMBER FOR GORTON
There is still no clarity on if, when and how the Morrison-Joyce Government will get hundreds of Afghans who helped Australia, and their families, to safety.
Other countries have been evacuating their Afghan supporters for weeks.
Veterans, former prime ministers and Labor have long been calling for urgent action from the Morrison-Joyce Government to fulfil Australia’s moral obligation to the Afghans who have risked everything to support our mission.
Distressingly, the Morrison-Joyce Government appears incapable of acting fast on anything.
It is also now critical that the Morrison-Joyce Government outline their plan to get partners and family of Australian citizens and permanent residents to safety.
There have been countless reports of Afghans seeking help being overwhelmed by paperwork and process, while their safety becomes increasingly precarious.
While every case must be considered on its individual merits – including security considerations – the Morrison-Joyce Government’s bureaucratic delays clearly pale in comparison to what other countries are doing
The deteriorating security situation underlines how the Morrison-Joyce Government’s dithering is risking our friends’ lives.
Labor is deeply concerned for the security of Kabul following the Taliban’s rapid takeover of regional capitals, including Kandahar.
The unfolding security and humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan is devastating for the people of Afghanistan, for Australian-Afghans fearful for their loved ones’ safety, for the Afghan staff that supported our military and diplomatic operations for over 20 years – and for our veterans.
There is bipartisan agreement on the withdrawal of ADF troops from Afghanistan.
However, given our 20-year military commitment to Afghanistan’s security and development – particularly for women and girls - we urge the Morrison-Joyce Government to explain what solutions are being considered by the international community to support Kabul’s security and respond to the growing humanitarian crisis.
Labor will be seeking further briefings on this issue next week.
Authorised by Paul Erickson, ALP, Canberra.