Joint media release:

  • The Hon Andrew Hastie MP, Shadow Minister for Defence

The Albanese Government must explain why they are delaying the delivery of further assistance to Ukraine, despite urgent calls for support.

It is deeply concerning that no new or additional funding for Ukraine was included in Labor’s May Budget in support of their defence against Russia’s invasion.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister and Defence Minister continue to falsely claim that Australia remains in the top non-NATO contributors to Ukraine and hide behind commitments made last year.

The Prime Minister is holding support ransom until he has a media opportunity at the upcoming NATO summit. This is unacceptable – military and humanitarian aid should not be withheld based on the news cycle.

The Opposition once again calls for the Prime Minister to deliver a comprehensive package for Ukraine.

We call on the Government to give urgent consideration to a package including:

  • Returning the Australian embassy to Kyiv
  • Hawkeis
  • M1 Abrams Tanks
  • F/A-18 Hornets
  • De-mining equipment/detectors
  • Humanitarian aid

Should there be an inability to supply any of these capabilities the Albanese Government needs to give full and reasonable explanation.

In government, the Coalition responded quickly and strongly to Ukraine’s request for assistance including $285 million in military aid – including the gifting of 14 M113 Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs), and 40 Bushmaster vehicles, 70,000 tonnes of coal to power Ukraine’s resistance, $65 million in humanitarian assistance including food, shelter, and medical supplies with a focus on protecting women, children and the elderly.

The Albanese Government must not fatigue in its support of Ukraine. This Government puts Australia’s reputation as a reliable and trusted partner at risk.

The Opposition has written to the Defence Minister and the Foreign Minister requesting assistance be urgently provided.