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27 February 2022


Slava Ukraine. An apology to all those who can actually speak Ukrainian. I am here because I know that a lot of other Australians want to be here with you. We stand with all Ukrainians.
I believe there is a ripple going out in the TVs and the lounge rooms of Australia. A ripple of sadness. A ripple of shock. A ripple of sickness. How can this be?
No one knows this feeling more than you and your beloved family and friends in Ukraine. But trust me, the Australian people, they are slow to anger. But when they are angry, they are a mighty, mighty force for good in this world.
And I say to you and through you and on behalf of you, to all of those Australians who may watch the news tonight or ask their friends at work tomorrow or at the school gate, picking up or dropping off the kids or in their community groups when they say, What does this all mean for us?
This Putin, I think Australians have worked out that Putin is a dishonourable, disreputable dictator.
But what I hear and explain to the Australian people is Ukraine's fight today is our struggle tomorrow.
Federal Labor, just like the government, we support taking all the actions that we can do, but we need to address the Australian people.
Ukraine is not actually a country far, far away. This is not an argument between two people arguing with legitimate points of view on both sides.
What happens in Ukraine is actually a story of good versus evil. What happens in the Ukraine will affect Australia from our petrol prices to inflation in the world economy.
But even more importantly than that, this fight in Ukraine is everyone's business is everyone's struggle because we believe in this country in freedom where someone is imprisoned somewhere else, then we are all imprisoned here, where someone's freedom somewhere else is under threat than our freedom is under threat here.
We believe in the rule of law and democracy, and we stand with Ukrainian Australians.