THE Riverina’s political voice has warned against knee-jerk reactions which endanger a significant trading relationship following the execution of two Australians.
Convicted drug smugglers Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran were executed by firing squad on Wednesday morning.
Member for Riverina Michael McCormack warned against any rash decisions which could harm Australian producers and economic growth.
“I hope the events of this morning and subsequent events don’t affect those strong relations.”
Mr McCormack’s comments follow the return of Australia’s ambassador from Indonesia.
“The government decided to send a message to Indonesia that it is extremely disappointed with the events of this morning,” Mr McCormack said.
“What happened this morning is a very sad and final outcome for the family and loved ones of those involved.”
Mr McCormack said there were no winners from the execution of Chan and Sukumaran.
“It sends a very strong and unambiguous message particularly to young people,” Mr McCormack said.
“If you meddle with drugs in those countries which carry the death penalty for trafficking that you may face the ultimate penalty for your actions if and when you are caught.
“We should also think of those family members who have lost loved ones who died a lonely death from a heroin overdose, albeit self-administered, in a lonely back alley who have not received the widespread love and outpouring of national grief and support as we’ve seen in recent hours, days, weeks and months,” Mr McCormack said.
Mining magnate and politician Clive Palmer called on the government to put everything on the table – including foreign aid and pushed for less cooperation with countries which used capital punishment.
However, Mr McCormack said now was not the opportunity for grandstanding, but rather “reflection and a little bit of diplomacy”.
Former ambassador and deputy prime minister Tim Fischer said Australia’s response needed to be carefully calibrated, backing the government’s decision to recall the ambassador and emphasised the mutual benefits from trade.
“I’m always the optimist, I’d be happy if there was no capital punishment in Australasia,” Mr Fischer said.