New Zealand High Commission Canberra, Australia
Top-level Australian presence at Memorial Service
Prime Minister John Key is welcoming the news that the Australian Governor-General Quentin Bryce, Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Leader of the Opposition Tony Abbott will all attend the Christchurch Earthquake National Memorial Service on Friday 18 March.
“This is a heart-warming show of solidarity with New Zealand by the leadership of Australia.
“It is a concrete demonstration of the sentiment Prime Minister Gillard expressed during her visit to New Zealand last month that New Zealand is 'family',” says Mr Key.
“As well as sharing in our mourning, Australia has been unstinting in the practical assistance it has provided since immediately after the earthquake and continues to provide. I would like to acknowledge not only the Federal support but the help from individual states like New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland.”
Around 600 Australian USAR, Police, medical, identification and other expert personnel have been working around the clock in the crisis response. On top of this, the Australian Federal Government has contributed A$5 million to the Red Cross earthquake appeal.
Her Excellency Quentin Bryce, Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Mr Abbott will arrive and depart Christchurch on Friday 18 March.