Joint media release:

  • The Hon Andrew Hastie MP, Shadow Minister for Defence


The Coalition strongly welcomes additional support for Ukraine in their fight against Russia’s illegal and immoral invasion.


Ukraine’s fight is not just for their nation, but also in defence of democracy, sovereignty and a rules-based order that Australia also relies upon.


Since establishing Australia as the leading non-NATO country contributor to Ukraine’s defence, the Coalition has consistently supported further assistance, while urging the Albanese Government to maintain a leading approach.


While this latest announcement by the Minister for Defence is welcome, the Albanese Government is still failing to respond to a Ukrainian request for more energy assistance via coal shipments. These should already have been agreed to and must now be committed to promptly.


Australia should still commit any elements of the retired Taipan helicopter fleet that could still support any aspects of Ukraine’s defence, while also looking forward to providing Abrams tanks that are also to be retired.


There are crucial elements of this commitment to be confirmed by the government, including the source and timing of the new commitments being made.


Is this new funding additional budget support for Ukraine, or another raid on the already stretched Australian defence budget?


How quickly will this new support be provided, and where will the missile launchers, missiles and drones come from?


As welcome as this support is, the Albanese Government needs to give faster, more comprehensive and long-term support for Ukraine that supplements rather than detracts from investment in Australian defence.