Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Statement on the retirement of Robert McClelland

Statement on the retirement of  Robert McClelland
I would like to pay public tribute to the extensive career of public service of Robert McClelland who has served with distinction as both a federal member of Parliament and as a reforming Attorney General of Australia.

Robert McClelland helped bring Labor to victory in 2007 as my successor as Shadow Foreign Minister. He has been a friend of mine for a number of years and he will be missed in the Parliament. As a former Prime Minister and Leader of the Labor Party I thank Robert for his contribution to the Party and the Government.

In his four years as Attorney General he implemented some of the government’s key reforms including the removal of discrimination against same sex couples in 85 pieces of Commonwealth legislation. These reforms have materially changed life opportunities for same sex couples for the better.

Robert also through the Attorney General’s portfolio implemented a number of measures to strengthen our national security and intelligence operations and to improve Australia’s counter terrorism capabilities.

I am pleased that Robert has indicated he intends to continue to participate in the national public debate as a former Attorney General it is important that he does so.

The people of Barton have been well served by Robert’s work over the last 17 years. I wish him, his wife Michelle and his family all the best for the next 17 years and beyond.

Statement on the retirement of Senator Trish Crossin

Statement on the retirement of Senator Trish Crossin
Senator Trish Crossin has been a tireless community servant for the people of the Northern Territory over decades.

I take this opportunity to particularly thank Senator Crossin for her work on reconciliation, the rights of indigenous Australians and the need for appropriate and well-funded community health services.

I also pay tribute to her as the first female elected to the Federal Parliament from the Northern Territory and as chair of the Status of Women Caucus committee for a number of years.

There is no doubt that being a Senator for the Northern Territory is one of the toughest  jobs in the Commonwealth.

As a former Prime Minister and Leader of the Labor Party I thank Trish for her tireless work in the 2007 Federal Election in promoting Labor’s election platform in both Solomon and Lingiari. Trish has also been a friend of mine for many years and has hosted me at events throughout the Northern Territory.

I look forward to continuing to work with Senator Crossin for the remainder of her time in the Senate and I wish Trish, her husband Mark and their family all the best for the future.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Transcript of Doorstop at Sydney University

JOURNALIST:  Mr Rudd, how do you feel about your tea succeeding for 12 months?

KEVIN RUDD: The man’s got to have some success sometime doesn’t he?  No look the bottom line is this is all about how we help animals and the RSCPA has been doing this for 140 years or more.


KEVIN RUDD: There you go. So the RSCPA has been supporting animals for 140 years. The least I can do is to do my bit to raise money for them. That’s what this is all about and that’s why contributing 10c a tin, 50c a tin, one dollar a tin, which Twinings is now doing for different presentations of this particular tea is, so important. So as I’ve said before, every time Australians sit down for a cup of this tea you’re contributing to the RSPCA which is good for all creatures great and small.

JOURNALIST: If you had to describe your tea blend as a sitting politician in federal parliament, which politician would it be?

KEVIN RUDD: Alright, that’s a very, very tricky question. I’ve got to be bipartisan about this haven’t I?


KEVIN RUDD: That’s true. So I think it’s kind of a bit of a cocktail I’d say, it would have I think a bit of Joe Hockey about it I think on their side but on our side I think a good additional touch of elegance, a bit of Tanya Plibersek as well. So there you go it’s those things combined. It’s what we describe as a masculine, feminine tea.

JOURNALIST: And we’ve recently had a lot of fires devastate the country, how important is it that a program like this is giving and making sure animals don’t miss out?

KEVIN RUDD: Well I think all of us are horrified to see the fires rage across the country. We’re horrified by the impact on people’s lives. We’re horrified at the loss of life, that poor firefighter who died recently in Tasmania but what is often not in the pictures is what happens to wildlife and frankly domestic pets as well. So at this time of year, it’s a double whammy for animals. It’s a fire season which is just horrible for animals and also it’s a time of year when many people, regrettably, desert their pets. So the RSPCA finds its hands full at this time of year so providing them with extra funding support is so important. Anything else on those questions?

JOURNALIST: I think we’ve covered it.

KEVIN RUDD: Okay anyone want to ask me anything else? That being the case you should absent yourself from the political line of fire.


RSPCA REPRESENTATIVE: I’m happy to answer anything about where the money goes and those sorts of things and you know anything at all about why we need the money because we do rely on shaking the tin. 

JOURNALIST: So this is ten times the amount of funding that is coming from the packaging what will that go towards?
RSPCA REPRESENTATIVE: Well the money that we raise really keeps the organisation going and it keeps us welfare ready if you like and don’t forget we rely on the public donations to keep the RSPCA going. In other words, we have to shake the tin to raise virtually every dollar that we get in. It costs an awful lot to run the organisation across the country. We can never have enough funds we are always behind the eight ball in that regard, so I think in this case the public can be really really confident that every time they have a cup of tea they are making a donation to animal welfare and animal cruelty through the RSPCA, so there are supporting us. It’s a very easy way for the public to support animal welfare and they don’t really have to do anything apart from just chose this blend and know that the money is going to welfare and anti cruelty operations all across the country wherever that may be at the time.
KEVIN RUDD: Ok, anything else guys?
JOURNALIST: Mr Rudd, this morning Julia Gillard announced that she’s asked Jason Clare to look into options for the Federal Government to perhaps in the future intervene in some community safety issues with the state of shootings in Sydney and violence in Brisbane – she’s asked him to look at those options. Is there a role for the Federal Government to play in make communities safer?
KEVIN RUDD: I think all levels of government have a responsibility to do whatever we can to make our communities safer. This goes down to basic things at the local government level like ensuring we’ve got decent street lighting and to make sure that local spaces and public spaces are as safe as possible. At the state government level of course it goes to the resources and deployment of our police forces around the country. On a federal government level too, we can also support, not just through the Australian Federal Police and what it does nationally and internationally, but also effective anti-crime campaigns on the ground. So making our communities safer is a responsibility for all levels of government working together. I don’t think it’s a place for politics and I welcome what Minister Clare will be doing.
JOURNALIST: So on that you made some recent comments about taking action in Syria with what’s going on – is that kind of jumping over the head of the Foreign Minister?
KEVIN RUDD: Bob Carr and I have a terrific working relationship, he’s doing a great job as Foreign Minister and we talk on a regular basis. I think on the question of Syria, what I have said is that we are watching in Syria a Rwanda in slow motion. I have said that because 60,000 people now lie dead, who are innocent civilians, who have been murdered by the Syrian regime. This is not a small thing. Next time you go to a major football stadium, imagine very seat in that stadium filled with a person who now lies dead. Three and a half thousands children murdered through artillery attacks and bombing through the Syrian Air Force. Therefore, what I’ve simply said is that it’s time for us as an international community, not just Australia, to all possible options for how we bring an end to this regime. Therefore, our public debate in Australia should be mature enough, big enough to handle all people putting their ideas forward including me.
JOURNALIST: Speaking of the Middle East Mr Rudd, as a Former Foreign Minister, what do you make of the University of Sydney’s Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies’ continued support of a boycotts, divestment and sanctions scheme against Israel here?
KEVIN RUDD: I have never supported that approach, I have said that in the past and I’ll say it today again and I’ll repeat it in the future. I think people who engage in that sort of activity around businesses who are associated with the Jewish community frankly, have just got it wrong. It doesn’t help. There is much, much more important debate to be had about how we mobilise international political opinion, international diplomatic action around a durable peace settlement in the Middle East and that’s why I’ve been strongly working with our Foreign Minister and with other countries around the world to seek to bring that about.
JOURNALIST: Do you think it’s embarrassing academically that it continues here that support for the BDS form the Centre?
KEVIN RUDD: It’s a matter for the authorities in this University. I’m more concerned about a general campaign along those lines. Frankly, it’s matter of diplomacy; it’s a question of putting proposals on the table which will work to bring about a durable peace settlement as opposed to targeted campaigns against businesses which happen to be owned by members of the Australian Jewish community. I think that’s just wrong. We should remember history.
JOURNALIST: Mr Rudd, do you have anything to say about Prime Minister Gillard’s cyber bullying announcement this morning?
KEVIN RUDD: As I understand it, the Prime Minister has made a statement about cooperative work between YouTube and Google and I think other arms of the social media to work together in a concerted campaign against cyber bullying, of course we would welcome that. Any form of cyber bullying, any form of misuse of the social media to intimidate people is just plain wrong. Whenever that happens.

JOURNALIST: Did it happen to you? What about your YouTube video? Have you got any comments to make?

KEVIN RUDD: Oh, my YouTube video. (laughter) That one.


KEVIN RUDD: Well, let me see. It was an interesting use of YouTube at the time. A very creative, pretty dishonest and I think from my understanding is that the Australian Federal Police are now requesting statements from various people about it. I think I’ll leave my comments there.

JOURNALIST: We’re in an election year now, what have backbenchers been told about the strategy for the year ahead? Particularly, with the polls against Tony Abbott as the Coalition leader, is his personality a problem?

KEVIN RUDD: Well, I’ll simply give you my view and I can’t speak for colleagues. The year is still young and many are not back at work yet. My attitude is very simple. As we head towards this 2013 election, people have got to ask themselves one very basic question. Are they comfortable with a guy like Tony Abbott being the Prime Minister of Australia. I’m not and I’m not comfortable for a whole bunch of reasons and one of those reasons is that his policies on so many questions are extreme. I don’t believe that they form part of the mainstream therefore of Australian society. So my attitude is, whatever problems folk may have with the Labor Party, and we have our share, you’ve got to ask yourself a pretty basic question. Would you entrust the Prime Ministership of the country with Tony Abbott? And I for one feel very uncomfortable with that because his policies are extreme.

JOURNALIST: Are you comfortable with Julia Gillard being the Prime Minister of Australia?

KEVIN RUDD: Well, I’m a member of the Labor Party and I’ve been a member of the Labor Party for about 31 years so a leopard doesn’t change his spots, well at least not this leopard. So I will be supporting the Labor Party, the Labor Government and Prime Minister Gillard with every effort I have to work towards their re-election at the end of this year. Also it goes back to a pretty basic point, just ask yourself as you walk into the ballot box, later this year are you confident and comfortable with a person and a politician like Tony Abbott with his extreme policies being Prime Minister of this country.  I’ve said before, I also don’t think he has the temperament to be Prime Minister. I know a little bit about the pressures that come to bear on that office. I don’t think he has the temperament for the position.


Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Address to the Griffith Australia Day Awards 2013

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Lourdes Hill College, Hawthorne

For the last 14 years now, we have gathered as a local community to celebrate what is great about our community, and what is good about Australia.

And friends, there is much to celebrate including the people we honour in these awards.

We have recognised some 388 recipients over the years.

These are people who cannot receive too much recognition.

They literally keep our community from falling apart.

And as we saw in the 2011 floods – it’s community volunteers who help put the community back together when it’s at risk of falling apart completely.

Before government can announce assistance, before the SES or the Army move in, before the re-building packages begin, the people who are there community volunteers.

And it is not just during times of natural disaster – we have community groups with us today who are there for people when they need help any day of the year and where there aren’t any television cameras around.

I became tired of reading Australia day official  honours lists when often the great and powerful were honoured but those who went quietly about their task over the years did not.

So to make sure we celebrate people such as these – 14 years ago we started the Griffith Australia Day Awards.

I wanted the first major community event I attend every year to be one of the best events I attend every year – reminding us what a great community we have.

Today I would like to talk about why I think this local community is one of the best you’ll find anywhere in the country, and anywhere in the world.

Because I believe that this community on Brisbane’s Southside is one we should all be proud of.

People will try to tell you what’s wrong with the community – it is easy to complain, it is easy to find something wrong, it’s easy to criticise.

It seems harder for people to acknowledge what’s going right in our community.

My advice to all of you today is don’t let anyone talk down our community – because our local community is a truly special place – a place where people do great things, where people do care for others, a place where people really roll up their sleeves.

I mentioned earlier that when floods hit we banded together with volunteers from everywhere – first moving the furniture and then removing the mud. 

One of my proudest days as the local member was to have put out the call for volunteers the day we started the clean-up and by the end of the day having had more than 250 people come through the office to pick up gloves and equipment and head out to a total stranger’s house to help.

I remember when locals spontaneously gathers at the local AFL club to distribute the sandbags.

It was a time when nobody was a stranger, when everyone was one of us.

Our community is also a special place because we are not only a diverse community, we are a harmonious diverse community.

Just yesterday I met with members of the Greek community to talk about how do we house elderly members of the community when they need to go into culturally appropriate aged care.

And in a month’s time I will join with indigenous community members as we commemorate the five year anniversary of the  Apology to Indigenous Australians – and recognise what we have achieved (and to be honest with ourselves about where we have failed).

Our community is also a truly special place because we are internationally minded.

We have local businesses who are penetrating markets across the world from Chile to China.

We have community groups who have organised aid and assistance for places as diverse as the Horn of Africa, Bangladesh and East Timor.

This is a truly special place because we honour those who have gone before us and paid the supreme sacrifice.  

Each ANZAC Day, I am lucky if I can get to four ceremonies in one morning. There are normally about three times that many.

Each one quietly reflecting on heroism of our diggers.

This is a good thing – to have too many people celebrating ANZAC is how it should be.

This is on top of the hundreds of drawings that students send me each year for the Ernie Adsett awards which help students commemorate ANZAC.

This is a truly special community because we have some of the nation’s best schools – I visited almost every one of them over last year, spoken to the students and the teachers and as I left every school there was no doubt in my mind that our future lies in safe hands.

This is also a special place because these schools give back to their communities tenfold. The St Lauries annual fun run to raise money for students with Autisim, Lourdes Hill who help provide services for St Vinnies and Brisbane State High who help provide a monthly BBQ for the homeless.

This is also a truly special place because it is full of small businesses that make you feel welcome, who create the jobs in our local community, and who chip in to help out the those in need through the Helping Hands program which provides care packages to members of our community who live alone.

And our small businesses who sponsor students, the future entrepreneurs of the Southside, through the South East Brisbane Chamber of Commerce.

This is a truly special place because there are world class hospitals doing world class research, looking after our community and literally delivering the next generation.

The PA Hospital is at the forefront of research with the Translational Research Institute under noble prize winner Dr Ian Frazer, the Mater Mothers’ Hospital where my first grandchild was born last year, and the guys at the Mater Children’s who run Radio Lollipop – one of the more fun radio interviews I have done in my time as a local MP.

And this is a special place because you can catch a bus, boat, train or walk to the city. Because here on Brisbane’s Southside we have the bulk of Brisbane’s cultural institutions -  the Queensland Performing Arts Centre, the Gallery of Modern Art, the Queensland Museum and the Queensland Ballet to name a few.

All celebrations of local creative excellence.

And on a personal note, this is where my kids grew up, it is where I began elected life as the Morningside State School as the P&C secretary and president.

It is where we have had our family home for more than 23 years.

It is a place full of memories for Therese and me.

And the place we want to be for the future.

And I am grateful for all these things which makes our community great.

So when asked every Australia Day to reflect on what I think makes Australia a great place – it is here in these suburbs, these community organisations and from these good local people that I draw inspiration.

Just because you love your community it doesn’t mean it can’t be better:

That’s why I’m proud over the last five years that we have built 25 new libraries, 30 new classrooms, and 17 new multipurpose sporting, cultural and community centres.

That’s why I’m proud when I walk down Oxford Street knowing that four years ago we saved local businesses from ruin in the Global Financial Crisis.

That’s why I’m proud that we are now putting the NBN down local streets – to give our economy the tools it needs for the 21st century.

It is why I am proud when I met people living with severe disability, parents that we are bringing in a National Disability Scheme to life.

It’s why I’m proud of the fact as last we could deliver some fairness for pensioners with the biggest single increase in the pensions’ history. 

And in supporting the most needy in our community, some of you may have seen some controversy when I said we should be doing more to help the unemployed get by.

I regularly visit the Salvation Army Employment Plus so like many of you in this room

So today we gather to say thank you to the volunteers.

And I am pleased that you are all here today to celebrate what makes this Southside community so strong.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Griffith Australia Day Awards 2013

The Griffith Australia Day Awards are a wonderful opportunity to recognise the contributions of volunteers across the Southside.

These award ceremonies have honoured more than 370 volunteers from community organisations across the Southside. We hope you can join us to honour this year’s award recipients.
When: 10.30am on Tuesday, 15 January
Where: Good Samaritan Centre, Lourdes Hill College
86 Hawthorne Road, Hawthorne
If you would like to attend the Griffith Australia Day Awards please RSVP to confirm your attendance on 3899 4031 or via

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Address to the Chinese National Defense University (Chinese)









这些变化最终成为可能,都是因为邓小平的战略决定。 同样也因为有着一个和平,稳定和共同富裕的地区和全球环境。我们的核心挑战是采取一切必要的行动为未来维护这个国际环境。

我今天的讲话有两个目的。第一,从不同首都的位置讨论地区和世界次序的未来,包括北京,华盛顿 和亚洲其他首都。第二,基于这些不同的观点,我们可否建立一个新的在奥巴马总统和习近平当选总统领导下的中美关系战略线路图。


中国和其他国家对世界和区域的看法经常十分不同。 这不仅仅是由于不同的利益。这不仅仅是由于不同的价值观。这也是由于不同的历史经验和观点。

智慧的起点是对世界上其它观点的理解。正如新加坡总理李显龙最近对中央党校的演讲中所说,全世界正在仔细观察着中国的每一个行动,因为中国的外交和国内政策会影响到地区和世界的其他国家。对于中国之外的世界这不仅仅是理论上的兴趣。这是有着真实的, 实际的兴趣。
































































APEC 在过去25年里取得了惊人的成绩,但APEC没有将印度纳入其中。我们现在需要进入地区经济一体化新阶段。东亚峰会可能会发挥作用,因为它包括印度,并设立了一个政治、安全和经济议程。这为中美关系的聚焦提供了一个更深入的、主动的积极工作议程