September 16, 2015

Pacific Islanders Urge Turnbull to Accept Peter Dutton’s Resignation

SYDNEY, 16th Sept: Following offensive remarks made by Immigration Minister Peter Dutton last week, Pacific Islanders are welcoming reports that he has offered Prime Minister Turnbull his resignation and they are calling upon Mr Turnbull to accept the resignation.

Last Friday, Mr Dutton was caught on camera making insulting and joking remarks about the impact of sea level rise in the Pacific. His comments were met with widespread condemnation, with Pacific Islanders requesting that Mr Dutton resign and that former Prime Minister Tony Abbott issue a formal apology.

“It’s up to Australia’s new Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to show climate leadership. Mr Dutton has compromised the integrity of this government and damaged Australia’s international reputation – particularly with our Pacific leaders. If the Prime Minister really cares about the Pacific Islands, he will accept Mr Dutton’s resignation and replace him with someone who understands the severity of climate change on our Islands,” said Koreti Tiumalu, Pacific Coordinator.

“Mr Dutton’s comments about the tragic impacts of climate change upon our islands were incredibly offensive. Australia’s inaction on climate change is deeply disturbing.”

“With a change of leadership, now is Mr Turnbull’s opportunity to start showing the Pacific the support we deserve in responding to an issue that was not of our making. “

“Australia’s pollution is causing unspeakable injustices for our Islands. Politicians who fail to grasp that should have no place in Australia’s Cabinet. We strongly urge Prime Minister Turnbull to accept Peter Dutton’s resignation and show his Pacific neighbours the respect we deserve,” concluded Mrs Tiumalu.

Contact: Krista Collard, 0424 712 034,