Address by the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP - 2014 Lowy Institute Media Award

12 Aug 2014

This speech by Malcolm Turnbull talks about press freedom, the future of the media, foreign correspondence, and broadband policy.


It is an honour to be in presence of so many distinguished journalists and foreign correspondents.

And without singling out the guests may I acknowledge Andrew Greste whose brother Peter is imprisoned in Egypt after a trial that was no more than a shocking mockery of justice.

Peter Greste is a great Australian journalist who was simply doing his job, but had the bad luck to be working for the Al Jazeera a news organisation whose owners are regarded as political opponents by the new Egyptian regime. Our Government has condemned this decision to imprison Peter, not least because it is part of a broader attempt to silence a free press.

Our Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has met with her Egyptian counterpart, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry as recently as last month to argue for Peter’s release. An appeal has been lodged and our officials will continue to provide every assistance to Peter’s family.

We are often reminded that our freedoms, our way of life are secured because our defence forces are prepared to put their lives on the line. We should not forget that the price of the news we read every day, of the transparency, accountability indeed democracy that only a free press can ensure is all too often paid in lives and liberty put at risk by journalists like Peter Greste.

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