FRIDAY, 11 NOVEMBER 2016
SUBJECT/S: Farewelling Taji Taskforce Rotation 4; Fight against Daesh; Regional resettlement
SHORTEN: Good evening everybody, it's a real privilege to be at Robertson Barracks, witnessing the farewell to the Taji Taskforce Rotation 4, I'm here with Luke Gosling and Warren Snowdon, Labor's Federal Members of Parliament for the Territory. 98 years ago today, the guns fell silent at the end of the First World War. I think it is a fantastic privilege to be commemorating Remembrance Day 98 years on, watching Australia's finest young men and women prepare to renew the ANZAC tradition once again in the cause of peace.
98 years after Remembrance Day we, again, see remarkable young ANZAC men and women, highly skilled, highly trained, who prepared for this mission. I have complete confidence in their skills, their professionalism, the love of their families and I have complete confidence and support for the mission that they are carrying out. The ability to degrade and destroy Daesh, to ensure that the territorial integrity of Iraq is preserved. To help train Iraq's security forces, elements of Iraq's security forces, to carry out their mission of restoring peace and stability to Iraq is in the finest traditions of ANZAC, 98 years after Remembrance Day. There is no finer place to be in Australia than watching the sheer professionalism commitment of our Defence Forces.
JOURNALIST: How confident are you that the Iraqi forces are getting on top and they're going to win that battle against Daesh? Particularly in the city of Mosul.
SHORTEN: The briefings which we receive indicate that the Iraqi forces are reclaiming territory and restoring territorial integrity to the borders of Iraq. I have no doubt, having visited Bagdad myself, having seen what the previous rotations, Australian troops, have been doing. I have no doubt that the Australian contribution is making a material difference to improve the peace and the lives of the citizens of Iraq and in the finest traditions of ANZAC, Australian and New Zealand troops will again be helping ensure that other peoples are free from terror, free from the evil scourge of Daesh.
JOURNALIST: Mr Shorten, are you, what are your, do you welcome any deal between the United States and Australia to resettle refugees on Manus Island and Nauru?
SHORTEN: We haven't seen the detail, the Government hasn't told us. But let's be straight, if there is a regional resettlement arrangement to secure genuine refugees, currently in indefinite detention on Manus and Nauru and if an arrangement is struck with the United States, Labor in principle will support such an arrangement. We obviously need to see the detail but I think that our strong bipartisan commitment to stop the people smugglers and the scourge of people smuggling, does not mean that people should be kept in indefinite detention on Manus and Nauru. Labor went to the last election with a policy to support regional resettlement, if the reports are correct that there is an arrangement to be struck with the United States, Labor in principle will welcome giving these people on Manus and Nauru the opportunity to resettle, the genuine refugees.
JOURNALISTS: And would the US be an appropriate location for that?
SHORTEN: I've said many times that Australia should negotiate with settlement nations. One of which is the United States, but lets see the detail, we need to see the detail. But I believe that if there is an opportunity to resettle genuine refugees in third party nations, this is a part of the regional resettlement policies which both Labor and Liberal's support. Strong borders, but fair treatment for people as well. Thanks everyone.