Tony Abbott and Bill honoured victims of Lindt Cafe siege in Sydney

February 9, 2015 2:51 pm

Australia’s political leaders have come together to declare the nation will never succumb to .
Prime
Minister and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten honoured the
victims of the Lindt Cafe siege in ’s Martin Place on the first
morning of parliament’s new year.
The
family and friends of Katrina Dawson and Tori Johnson, who were killed
in the siege, sat solemnly through the condolence motion speeches.
They were joined by survivors of the 16-hour hostage drama, about 60 in all.
The
motion honours the courage of the hostages and emergency services while
recording “deep repugnance” towards terrorism and determination to
protect Australia’s democracy.

Mr Abbott declared a “moment of profound unity” and told his
audience that the thoughts of 20 million Australians were with them on
that terrible day and still with them as they try to come to terms with
the horrific ordeal.

Hostages fled towards armed police as the Sydney siege came to a dramatic end. Photo / AP

The best response to terrorism was to live normal lives, he said.
Mr Abbott promised to learn from the siege, with a review of all aspects of it due at the end of the month.
“I pledge I will do everything I humanly can to keep Australia safe,” he said.
Australia
was helping to degrade the Islamic State “death cult” that’s declared
war on the world and if more legislation was needed, he would bring it
in.
Mr Shorten promised to work with the government, saying the safety of Australia was above politics.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott after moving a motion on the Martin Place siege. Photo / Getty
Prime Minister Tony Abbott after moving a motion on the Martin Place siege. Photo / Getty
The siege aimed to divide Australia but it failed, he said.
Instead thousands of Australians brought flowers, not hatred, to Martin Place.
Mr Shorten said Australians must remain optimistic and compassionate.
Tanya
Plibersek, whose Sydney electorate includes Martin Place, struggled as
she imagined the quick goodbye kisses – the sort anyone might give –
that Ms Dawson and Mr Johnson may have given their families as they left
home on that fateful morning of December 15.
The Senate also
marked the occasion, with government leader Eric Abetz saying
Australians from all walks of life weren’t deflected from their daily
lives by “this unthinkable atrocity”.
Opposition Senate leader Penny Wong said the violent attack was completely at odds with the values of the Australian community.

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