Interview with Kieran Gilbert – Sky News AM Agenda – Wednesday 23 July 2014







KIERAN GILBERT: Thanks for your company on AM Agenda, with me on the program now Jason Clare the Labor frontbencher. Just some breaking news to put to you, that Peter Cosgrove the Governor General is on his way to the Netherlands, Mr Clare, to be present for the arrival of the Dutch and Australian aircraft carrying the remains of those lost in MH17. Your reaction to that move by the Prime Minister?

JASON CLARE, SHADOW MINISTER FOR COMMUNICATIONS: That’s a very good decision by the Prime Minister and I welcome that. It’s a similar role to the one Sir William Deane played when he was Governor General after the canyoning disaster in Switzerland. Our Governor’s General play a very important role in helping Australian families after terrible disasters where ever they happen around the world and I know that Peter Cosgrove our Governor General will perform a very important role in helping to bring our people home.

GILBERT: In terms of the cooperation, Julie Bishop indicated that there are encouraging signs that cooperation, while it’s been a disgrace to this point, the last couple of days following that UN resolution yesterday at least there has been some progress on the ground in Eastern Ukraine.

CLARE: It’s been a very important 24 hours – A very important resolution passed by the Security Council, the victims of this tragedy, of this crime are now being repatriated back to the Netherlands, the handing over of the black box and now steps being taken to secure the site. That investigation is potentially going to take a long time and it’s very important that the Russian Government fully assist in that investigation and that may include, Kieran, making sure that some of the Russian backed rebels are available to be interviewed and if the evidence warrants it that the people responsible for this crime are handed over to the relevant authorities.

GILBERT: I suppose in the short term though the news is encouraging to the extent, as tragic as it is the Australians as part of this operation the Prime Minister describes as “bring them home” at least that process has begun. As tragic as it is that families and loved ones will hopefully, finally say a farewell.

CLARE: That is very important. I’d also welcome the decision of the Prime Minister to make available to the families the opportunity to fly to the Netherlands to fly home with their family members who died in this tragedy. That’s the first priority of the Government and I welcome the decision that the Prime minister has made in that regard.

The next step is to make sure that justice is done and the twenty Australian Federal Police officers in Kiev will play an important role in collecting the necessary evidence at the crash site to help to ensure that the people that are responsible for this are brought to justice.

GILBERT: Finally, a minute left but I do want to get your thoughts on the Indonesian Election result. You are fully aware and have had a fair bit to do with Indonesia through your previous role as Minister. Your reaction to Jokowi’s victory?

CLARE: I congratulate the new President of Indonesia, Joko Widodo on his election as the new President of Indonesia. It’s stating the obvious that Indonesia is a very important relationship for Australia, they are our next door neighbour, one of the biggest economies in the world. We need to build on the relationship we had with Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and make this relationship even stronger. I think there is enormous opportunity here, we haven’t fully realised it yet and it’s important that we get off on the right foot on the relationship with the new President of Indonesia.

GILBERT: Mr Clare appreciate your time as always.

CLARE: Thanks Kieran.