Australians have reacted with grief, sadness and anger over downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 in Ukraine.


“As things stand this looks less like an accident than a crime. We owe it to the dead and their families, we owe it to the peace and stability of the wider world, to establish the facts and we will do all we humanly can to bring that about.” – Prime Minister Tony Abbott tells parliament it seems Russian-backed rebels shot down the plane.

“The bullying of small countries by big ones, the trampling of justice and decency in the pursuit of national aggrandisement and reckless indifference to human life should have no place in our world.” – Tony Abbott says the conflict between Russia and Ukraine must end.

“This is a violation of the rules of civilisation.” – Opposition Leader Bill Shorten.

“Putin now has Australian blood on his hands. He has no respect for the international community, he does what he feels, he’s a power monger. Trying to point the finger at Ukraine is disgusting.” – Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organisations chairman Stefan Romaniw.

“For people to be innocently travelling on a world airline and to be shot out of the sky is absolutely horrific.” – Victorian Premier Denis Napthine as he confirms nine Victorians are believed to be among the dead.

“Like all Queenslanders, I was shocked, outraged, dismayed and deeply saddened. It’s hard not to get angry and emotional about it.” – Queensland Premier Campbell Newman, as he confirms nine people from the state are dead.

“At this stage, reports do seem to indicate that the plane was shot down by terrorists and, if so, this is a truly unspeakable – and incomprehensible – act.” – Premier Colin Barnett as he confirms seven West Australians were killed in the disaster.

“Here are people trying to manage a global epidemic and we’ve got an act of war that destroys them.” – University of Melbourne Professor Rob Moodie mourns delegates who died on route to the 20th International AIDS Conference in the Victorian capital.

“He was just a lovely bloke. He’ll be missed.” – A friend of South Perth Yacht Club member Nick Norris, who is believed to have perished along with three of his grandchildren.

“He said they are on the flight and they’ll be home tomorrow … but they just didn’t make it.” – Hume City Councillor Jack Ogilvie tells of chatting only yesterday to the son of lost Victorian couple Albert and Maree Rizk, who were on their way home from a month-long holiday.

“It’s a bit surreal to think that one day later and I wouldn’t be here talking with you right now.” – Adelaide woman Simone La Posta, and her partner, were meant to be on the doomed flight. They are alive because they changed their plans and left Amsterdam a day early.