Australians Praise PM Tony Abbott for MH17 Response But Still Angry at Budget

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By Reissa Su | July 29, 2014 10:44 AM EST

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has received the public's support for his active role and leadership in the investigation of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 disaster. The results of a News Corp poll revealed 48 per cent of respondents believe Mr Abbott has displayed "more leadership" in response to the MH17 tragedy and his tougher stance on Russia compared to U.S. President Barack Obama.

REUTERS/Maxim Zmeyev
A Malaysian air crash investigator (R) inspects the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, near the village of Rozsypne, Donetsk region, July 22, 2014. A train carrying the remains of many of the 298 victims of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 arrived in a Ukrainian government-held city on Tuesday on the first leg of their final journey home to be reclaimed by their families.

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Majority of Australians said Russian President Vladimir Putin should not be welcomed in the G20 world leaders' summit in Brisbane in November.

However, reports said Australians have yet to back Mr Abbott's overall leadership of the country and the proposed budget.

The Galaxy poll saw Labour ahead of the Coalition at 52 per cent against 48 per cent on a two-party preferred basis. Respondents voted for Labour leader Bill Shorten as their preferred prime minister with majority choosing Shorten to have the greater ability to manage the economy.

The poor poll result of the Coalition has been blamed on the public's disapproval and rejection of Mr Abbott's budget reforms.

Meanwhile, Mr Abbott has reassured Russia, Ukraine and the pro-Russia separatists who control the MH17 crash site that Australia will not be a threat as it acts only to recover the remains of the victims then leave.

Mr Abbott said Australia's purpose is "to claim our dead and bring them home" quickly. Tensions are high as the prime minister and his special envoy Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston insisted the MH17 crash site will be "military-free." Unarmed troops will be tasked to recover the bodies.

Mr Abbott stated it was a solely a police mission despite the involvement of Australian Defence Force members. He called the Operation Bring Them Home a humanitarian mission and nothing more. The prime minister did not discount the element of risk involved in an area controlled by separatists. He said the government is prepared to take the risk to bring home the dead to their families.

Setting aside politics, Opposition Bill Shorten spoke to Mr Abbott and offered the Labour party's support for his decision to send unarmed troops to Ukraine. Shorten said the recovery of bodies and returning them home should be prioritised. 

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(Photo: REUTERS/Maxim Zmeyev / )
A Malaysian air crash investigator (R) inspects the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, near the village of Rozsypne, Donetsk region, July 22, 2014. A train carrying the remains of many of the 298 victims of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 arrived in a Ukrainian government-held city on Tuesday on the first leg of their final journey home to be reclaimed by their families.
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