Thursday, 5 March 2015

Speech in Parliament - Death Penalty - 5 March 2015

Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (10:20): In this House of Representatives of 150 elected members and across the way in the Senate with 75 senators, on any given day, all of us can be simultaneously concerned about a range of issues. But on this day all 225 of us have one single thought in our minds, as do so many millions of Australians, and that is the fate of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran in Indonesia.

All of us in this parliament are united in our thoughts and prayers for them and their families at this time. All of us are united in our combined plea for mercy in these times. This parliament has come together in a united way with a united voice to Indonesia. We did so in the House of Representatives with a motion supported by all 150 members. The foreign minister and the shadow foreign minister have made joint representations, as have the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition.

Beyond this parliament, six former prime ministers have made that very same plea to Indonesia. None of us understate the seriousness of their crime, as the foreign minister said back in February:

Without doubt, Andrew and Myuran need to pay for their crimes with lengthy jail sentences. But they should not need to pay with their lives.

That is the position of all of us. This morning, the member for Berowra and the member for Fowler led a number of us at dawn in a candlelit vigil, where the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition, the foreign minister and the shadow foreign minister also appealed. The Prime Minister is still making representations, as is the foreign minister. We all know in this place it is late in the day, but what we say is, 'It's not too late.'

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