At some stage into the future, Burma will have a civilian Government, which will face great challenges. At some stage into the future, the regional and international community will be asked to help in the rebuilding of Burma’s economic and social structures. Australia’s view therefore is that the international community help prepare Burma for the future. Burma’s capacity cannot be allowed to completely atrophy to the ultimate disadvantage and cost of its people. The international community needs to start the rebuilding now. This is not a reward for Burma’s military, but a recognition of the immense task faced by current and future generations of Burmese.

– Extracted from Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith’s “Ministerial Statement on Burma”, 8 February 2010.

Update (9 February 2010): Linda Mottram from the ABC has a very useful report which provides further argument from the Foreign Minister, and also from the Shadow Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, and Myint Cho, from the Australia-Burma Council.