DR ANNE ALY MP
FEDERAL MEMBER FOR COWAN
FRIDAY, 20 OCTOBER 2017
SUBJECT: Julie Bishop
ANNE ALY: Well I'd like to congratulate Jacinda Ardern and New Zealand Labour on their victory in the recent New Zealand elections.
But let's talk about those outrageous claims made by Julie Bishop back in August. Because for somebody who spends a lot of time walking the red carpet this was really a serious stumble.
But let's get this straight: this is not out of character for Julie Bishop. This is her character. This is what happens when she strays from the lines that DFAT gives her.
And to now turn around and try and Trump-tweet away what she said back in August, and accuse journalists of printing "rubbish", I think makes it even more outrageous.
A good Foreign Minister knows this: a good Foreign Minister knows that their role is more than just about walking the red carpet and air-kissing actors and actresses.
Julie Bishop should be on the next plane to Wellington undoing the damage that she did back in August, but of course, we all know that the Eagles aren't playing in New Zealand any time soon, are they now?
JOURNALIST: Do you think Ms Bishop's comments have in any way hampered Australia's trans-Tasman relationship with New Zealand?
ALY: Oh absolutely I think they have. These were serious allegations and Jacinda Ardern herself called them "false claims", which Julie Bishop has yet to respond to. Has yet to express any form of regret about what she said. So I think that there's damage that has been done, and it's up to now, it's left to the Prime Minister to undo the damage that Julie Bishop did.
JOURNALIST: Do you think our relationship with New Zealand is strong enough to overcome these comments?
ALY: I would hope so, I hope that our relationship with New Zealand is strong enough. I know that Bill Shorten has a great relationship with New Zealand, so there's a future there to look forward to.
But Julie Bishop needs to come out strongly and apologise for the comments that she made way back in August. And stop chucking a Tweety-tantrum, and just get on with apologising for those disgraceful comments that she made and rebuilding that vital relationship that we have with New Zealand.
JOURNALIST: What would you suggest we do to rebuild right now with New Zealand?
ALY: Well I think we already have a good relationship on Labor's side with New Zealand. You know, Julie Bishop really does need to get on a plane and go to Wellington and make her case clear that what she did was wrong. She needs to apologise to the people of New Zealand for what she said. To say something as disgraceful as a lack of trust in a new Labour Government, I think that causes a lot of damage and I think she needs to get on a plane and go and undo the damage that she did.