What our Politicians think
When in Opposition, this is what members of our current Government thought about the conflict in Darfur:
Kevin Rudd on the 14th February 2005
'Australia's response has been slow, it has been hesitant and, I regret to say, it has been inadequate'
'Australia should be actively supporting the efforts of the African Union, the European Union, and anyone else who is willing to take an initiative to rescue the people of Darfur'
'Our government can do more and should do more'
Nicola Roxon on the 29th May 2006
'Without continually raising this issue through motions such as this, we cannot apply sufficient pressure - and we must keep applying that pressure - on the Sudanese government and international bodies. Of course, we must also urge our own government to continue its action to see whether there is anything we can do to stop the great hardship we see occurring'
Michael Danby on 31st May 2007
'I am very pleased to note that the leader of the Opposition, Kevin Rudd, has suggested that, if the UN wants some technical assistance- maybe helicopters, maybe a few key personnel - Australia would consider, under a new government, helping that UN force in Darfur. We must take action to see that the murder of hundreds of thousands of people, the destruction of entire villages, and the raping and pillaging of the innocent people of Darfur ceases immediately.'
Robert McClelland on the 3rd August 2007 (Doorstop interview)
'We would certainly provide assistance to the international mission in Darfur. We've indicated already that it's very difficult from Opposition to work out what resources are available to sensibly deploy. Again it is consistent with where we think our strategic priorities lie in our region but there unquestionably would be a range of resources that we would look at whether it be in the nature of air traffic resources, wither it be in air transport resources, whether it be in logistic support, whether it be in medical capacity with medical reservists. These are things we would certainly be prepared to look at and explore to deploy'
'The Australian Labor Party has always been a supporter of international peacekeeping work by the United Nations. And again consistent with our other demands and priorities we think it is important that as a good international citizen to make more than simply a symbolic contribution to these efforts'
The Government has indicated to DAN that it will consider contributing to the UN mission in Darfur if the UN makes a specific request. This comes despite the exisiting open request for helicopters and transportation units with or without accompanying personnel by the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO).