SENATOR THE HON PENNY WONG

LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION IN THE SENATE

SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS

SENATOR FOR SOUTH AUSTRALIA

MEDIA RELEASE

16 October 2018

MORRISON’S WENTWORTH DESPERATION

Scott Morrison is now so desperate to hang on to his job, he is prepared to say anything if he thinks it will win him a few more votes – even at the cost of Australia’s national interest.

Australia’s policy towards Israel is both long-standing and bipartisan – as it should be when Australia’s national interests are at stake.

Both the Government and the Opposition have supported the approach of most other nations of maintaining our embassy in Tel Aviv on the grounds that Jerusalem’s status must be determined as part of an overall two state solution that recognises the State of Israel behind secure borders.

In June this year, former Foreign Minister Julie Bishop declared “the Australian government will not be moving our embassy to Jerusalem. Jerusalem is a final status issue and we have maintained that position for decades.”

The same month, DFAT Secretary Frances Adamson declared that moving the embassy would be “unhelpful” to the peace process.

In July, when asked if the Australian Embassy would move to Jerusalem, Morrison said “no… no… it’s not the Government’s policy. It’s never been under review and we’re not doing it.”

Both Labor and the Government, like the United Kingdom, France, Germany and most of the international community have also supported the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) as being the best option for preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

In March this year Julie Bishop criticised the US withdrawal from the JCPOA and recommitted Australia to the deal.

Foreign policy, and Australia’s national interest are far too important to be played with in this fashion.

Instead of playing dangerous and deceitful word games with Australian foreign policy in a desperate attempt to win votes Scott Morrison should try governing in a way that reflects the values of the people of Wentworth by committing to serious action on climate change, and legislating to protect teachers and students from discrimination.

The people of Wentworth, and all Australians, deserve a leader who puts the national interest ahead of his self-interest, and governs in the best long term interest of the nation, not one prepared to play games with long standing foreign policy positions five days out from a by-election.

Authorised by Noah Carroll, ALP, Canberra.