Doorstop Interview, Parliament House Canberra

Release details

Release type

Related ministers and contacts

The Hon Richard Marles MP

Deputy Prime Minister

Minister for Defence

Media contact

02 6277 7800

Release content

16 June 2023

JOURNALIST: Just a question on that request from about the FA-18s. Obviously, it hasn't been formally made yet by Ukraine. But is that something Australia could consider?

RICHARD MARLES, DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER: We're working with the government of Ukraine about making sure that we are supporting them in their conflict with Russia. We understand this is going to be a protracted conflict. We have been standing shoulder to shoulder with Ukraine from the very start and we will continue to be there for as long as it takes, because we understand how important it is that this conflict is resolved on Ukraine's terms. Now, we stand right now as being one of the largest non-NATO contributors to Ukraine, one of the largest contributors in the Indo-Pacific to support Ukraine. There's been, I think, an enormous sense of gratitude from the government of Ukraine about Australia's support and we will continue to work with them about how that support can be expressed in the future.

JOURNALIST: Could that involve F-18s?

MARLES: Well, I'm not going to go through specifics now. We're in a conversation with the government of Ukraine. They're completely aware of what-- well firstly, what they're asking for, obviously, and what is able to be done from our end. But we will be standing with Ukraine for as long as it takes. And in terms of the support that we're providing, we have iteratively described that over the course of this conflict, really since the first invasion-- the day of the first invasion, the invasion day by Russia. And we will continue to provide those announcements as we announce further support.

JOURNALIST: Given the revelations about Senator Van – we've heard recently reports that multiple women have accused him of this, it seems like there's more coming out as well – are you concerned about your colleagues here in Parliament?

MARLES: Look, I think, well firstly, I acknowledge what the Leader of the Opposition has done and that this matter has now been referred to the Parliamentary Workplace Support Service. And that's where the specifics of these allegations will be dealt with, as is appropriate. It is important that support is provided to Senator Thorpe in making this allegation. And obviously, support should be provided to all those who have made allegations in this context. I think today, there is a sense of sadness and disappointment that we all feel about what's happening, and has happened in this building. This is an extraordinary place. So many people who work here feel an enormous sense of pride and honour in being out of work in our nation's Parliament. I certainly feel that. And it is an amazing place. And yet since I've been in Parliament, there has been a consistent theme around these issues, which is just so deeply disappointing. And you can't really reach any other conclusion that all of us in this building just have to do better. Our national Parliament should be an exemplar in the country of a safe workplace. And all of us have to redouble our efforts to make sure that that's what this place becomes.

JOURNALIST: Do you think there should be a wider reaching investigation into the claims?

MARLES: Well, it's been referred to the Parliamentary Workplace Support Service. I think we should let them do their job now in in relation to this. But as I've just said, I think the feelings that all of us really take out of this is just a need that all of us in this building have to do better to make this workplace safe.



Other related releases