Death Penalty - Statements By Members

Click here to watch Sharon’s speech

Ms BIRD: (Cunningham) (13:45): In recent times, people in my electorate of Cunningham have been holding prayer vigils in deep concern about the decision to implement the death penalty for two Australians, Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan. Tonight again there will be a prayer vigil, organised by the Illawarra People for Peace, which is a multifaith group that has been doing some wonderful work in our community. Previous vigils have been held by the Wollongong based Amnesty group. I want to take this opportunity in the parliament, on behalf of my community, to say that I have joined with some of my colleagues from across the parliament in signing the letter to the Indonesian Ambassador to Australia asking them to reconsider the imposition of this death penalty. We make it clear that we have a very good understanding of how serious the offences committed by these two young men were, but we also think it is important to recognise their sincere and important attempts at rehabilitation and our opposition to the use of the death penalty. As a mother of adult young men, I can only begin to imagine the distress for their mothers and their families, and I want to let them know that, along with my community, I stand beside them in calling for the Indonesian government to reconsider this decision.