Joint media release:

  • The Hon Andrew Hastie MP, Shadow Minister for Defence

The Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C) have today confirmed that Prime Minister Albanese had no involvement in the decision for Australia to not send a warship to the Red Sea, nor was a National Security Committee of Cabinet meeting called to resolve Australia’s response to the request.


On multiple occasions PM&C deflected questions to the Department of Defence citing they had no oversight of the request made by the United States, stating “It was a decision by the Defence Minister.”


With 12 per cent of the world’s trade passing through the Red Sea this is an embarrassing revelation for Australia to have refused a request of our allies without it even passing the Prime Minister’s desk.


It is both remarkable and negligent that the Albanese Government seemingly couldn’t even be bothered to call a National Security Committee to discuss this request from the United States, especially given the woefully inadequate response provided by the Albanese Government.


PM&C officials confirmed that the Prime Minister’s Office was advised of the request from the US, yet no action was taken or requested by Mr Albanese – his department heard nothing but crickets.


Prime Minister Albanese’s missing in action response to matters of national security are a stark reminder of his inability or unwillingness to stand up Australia’s national interests, including in other matters such as the HMAS Toowoomba incident.