Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
It’s time for L-plate Latham to take a briefing on Iraq.



Download PDFDownload PDF

MEDIA RELEASE MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS ALEXANDER DOWNER

October 29 2004

It’s time for L-plate Latham to take a briefing on Iraq

Labor Leader Mark Latham has made his first backflip on foreign policy since the election, with revelations Labor will finally review its “Troops home by Christmas” policy on Iraq.

After the election Mr Latham claimed to have won the debate on national security saying on October 22 that: “We won that debate in the campaign and it is interesting and important to note that the government is following our lead in that regard.”

Already Latham Labor concedes that assessment is wrong. Labor’s foolish and irresponsible Iraq policy was at the heart of its national security campaign push.

Labor’s review of its Iraq policy will provide the 10th version of that policy since Mr Latham defeated Kim Beazley by one vote for the Labor leadership.

During his time as Opposition Leader, Mr Latham has steadfastly refused to take a briefing on Australia’s Iraq commitment. This only served to highlight his unsuitability for government.

Today I repeat the offer I first made eight months ago, to provide Mr Latham with a briefing on Iraq and the role of Australia’s troops. This would be provided so that Labor can formulate a policy based on a factual assessment of the task.

If Mr Latham wants to prove himself suitable to become Prime Minister of this country, he must take the opportunity of learning about Australia’s foreign policy challenges.

Media Inquiries: Chris Kenny 0419 206 890