- The Hon Peter Dutton MP, Leader of the Opposition
- The Hon Andrew Hastie, Shadow Minister for Defence
Today, our thoughts are with the people of Ukraine as they mark their Independence Day.
This 31st Independence Day will be a difficult day for many Ukrainians, as it also marks exactly six months since the beginning of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Throughout this time, Australia has stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Ukraine and continues to condemn Russia’s abhorrent actions. Ukraine continues to show remarkable courage and resilience as it bravely fights Russia’s unprovoked and illegal war. Russia’s brutality has been devastating, with more than 5,500 civilian deaths, and more than 7,500 injured. We grieve for those whose lives have been lost, including many women and children.
Under the former Coalition Government, significant financial, military and humanitarian aid was swiftly provided to Ukraine and its people. This has been built upon by the new Government, with our strong support.
The Coalition Government provided $285 million in military assistance and humanitarian aid in support of Ukraine. This has now grown to $388 million and includes the gifting of Australian Bushmaster Protected Military Vehicles and support for Ukraine’s energy security through the supply of 70,000 tonnes of Australian thermal coal.
The Coalition calls upon the Albanese Government to do all that is necessary to ensure that Australia remains at the forefront of non-NATO support for Ukraine.
During this war, Australia has helped thousands of Ukrainians by offering our home to them. Under the visa support introduced by the former Coalition Government, more than 8,500 visas have been granted to Ukrainian nationals to find safety in Australia.
For Australians with family in Ukraine, we know that today – like every day – will be difficult as they grieve for lost loved ones and hold fears for those who remain.
The Coalition recognises this Independence Day of Ukraine with our staunch commitment to continued support for the people Ukraine. We will continue to stand