March 09, 2012
ABC News: Carr rejects talk of softening Fiji stance
Posted March 09, 2012 20:26:46
Foreign minister designate Bob Carr has rejected media reports that he is planning to soften Australia's hard stance against Fiji.
Mr Carr was speaking in Auckland after holding informal talks with his New Zealand counterpart Murray McCully.
Mr Carr said he had noted Friday's announcement by Fiji's military leader Frank Bainimarama about planned public consultation over a new constitution.
Both Mr Carr and Mr McCully greeted the announcement with caution and said time would tell if the Fiji's rulers were truly moving towards democratic elections.
The former New South Wales premier also says he will be seeking more information from the ACTU about the human rights situation for workers in Fiji.
Mr Carr says he wants to further investigate claims that any union official who speaks out against the interim government still risks life imprisonment.
"Certainly one of the tests we'd consider in the future is the right of organisation in the workplace," he said.
"That's a fundamental human right.
"I'd expect to have more conversations with unionists, in particular the ACTU."
Mr Carr said his hour-long discussion with Mr McCully about the region was wide-ranging and helpful.
He will meet prime minister John Key on Saturday morning.
It is his first overseas trip since being named the replacement for Kevin Rudd.
He is due to be sworn in as a senator and foreign minister on Tuesday.