PANORAMA reporter
Australia stands by Gibraltar’s right to Self-Determination

Australian High Commissioner to London Alexander Downer announced in a press conference yesterday the country’s official position on the Rock, which supports its people’s right to self-determination.

In his first ever visit, Mr Downer, whose consular responsibilities are accredited to Gibraltar, acknowledged the ‘sensitivity’ of the ‘age-old’ dispute between Gibraltar and Spain.

“We have a very simple view on that. They - Gibraltarians - have made it emphatically clear that they want to maintain their status as a British Overseas Territory and there seems to me that there is no inclination to change that. You cannot deny that kind of democratic mandate,” he told reporters at the University of Gibraltar following a tour of the establishment. “We fully respect that and support the right of Gibraltarians to determine their own future. I wouldn’t be here if we didn’t think that.”

Mr Downer described the dispute with Spain as an old and a long story that could be easily managed if the will of the local people was respected.

“We are in 2017 now and Spain should not allow one bone of contention to spiral out of control,” he said.