Interview with Chris Smith, Sky News

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The Hon Andrew Hastie MP

Assistant Minister for Defence

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Ella Kenny 0437 702 111

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11 March 2022

CHRIS SMITH: Andrew thank you very much for your time, I won’t keep you long at all but tell us about Kimberley’s contribution to this field of work?

THE HON ANDREW HASTIE MP, ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR DEFENCE: Good afternoon, Chris. Kimberley was a great friend, a great patriot and a very fine parliamentarian and we will miss her a lot. Kimberley and I became friends because we believed very much in Australian sovereignty and Kimberley believed that you can't have a functioning democracy if you aren't sovereign. Australian democracy has to be free from foreign interference, economic coercion and other threats and so we came together around those issues. And we worked together as the inaugural chairs of the International Parliamentary Alliance on China working with international parliamentarians on that issue. We were co-chairs of the parliamentary friendship group for the USA and we also started the Wolverines together. And so she was absolutely uncompromising when it came to the Australian national interest. And one thing we all have to ask ourselves in the parliament, have you acquitted your time well, and I think Kimberley absolutely acquitted her time well, she has a lot of achievements. But moreover, she stood for principle, and for integrity, and we're going to miss her very much.

CHRIS SMITH: And Andrew, the fact that she stood for what you have described may have caused her a bit of pushback from certain sections of her own party. But she was unmoved. Right?

ANDREW HASTIE: Absolutely. I can tell you on a number of occasions where I came under attack, she had my back. And likewise, I had hers. She did take risks, she was at odds with quite a few people in the parliament. She was a defender of the Western tradition, she believed in the Western canon, she was a student of English literature, she rejected cancel culture. And of course, I mentioned she was very tough on Australian sovereignty. And that was quite unusual, because it's very easy to go with the flow in Parliament. And that's why she stood out. And that's why she was respected by everyone across the aisle, including some of the minor parties as well.

CHRIS SMITH: Yes exactly and we saw such a widespread tribute to her today, right from last night when the news broke about that heart attack, that fatal heart attack. And, you know, it's not just in the Senate. But beyond that, and then to minor parties as well. Everyone knew what contribution she was making?

ANDREW HASTIE: She did, she achieved great things with our Magnitsky laws, which are being used to sanction Russian oligarchs now. She stood up to authoritarian regimes, she called them out, she wasn't afraid to break with the party line or to raise her voice when everyone else was asking her to whisper. And that's very special, but Chris I just want to give you an insight into what she was like, as a person as well,


ANDREW HASTIE: There's the public side to Kimberley, which is consistent with her personal character as well. But I got to know her as a friend. She'd often check in on me and ask how my wife Ruth was doing, how our kids were doing. She'd send my children presents, you know, we didn't ask for the presents, but I remember a bunch of books arriving - she’d gone out and carefully chosen for my children. These are things people don't get to see with public figures. And, you know, it is heartbreaking to lose Kimberley.

CHRIS SMITH: Yeah, right from the heart, sounds like…


CHRIS SMITH: Sorry, go on Andrew.

ANDREW HASTIE: Yeah. And I, and I'm thinking of her husband and her close friends today.

CHRIS SMITH: Yeah. Well said, Andrew Hastie thank you very much for that heartfelt tribute. Wonderful.

ANDREW HASTIE: Thank you, Chris.

CHRIS SMITH: Good on you. Wow from the other side of the aisle. That's the impact she had.


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