Senator Payne declined to speculate on potential sanctions that could be placed on Myanmar, but said Australia’s military ties with the country were under review.
Australia has a defense training program with Myanmar worth about 1.5 million Australian dollars ($1.2 million) over fives years.
U.S. President Joe Biden agreed with Prime Minister Scott Morrison during a telephone conversation last week to work together to “hold to account those responsible for the coup,” the White House said.
Turnell’s friend and fellow Myanmar expert Monique Skidmore said she believed the Macquarie University economics professor had been detained because of his close relationships with ousted leader Suu Kyi and other senior members of her National League for Democracy party.
“I think it’s just his closeness that’s got him detained,” Skidmore said.
Skidmore expected Turnell would be deported and remained “terribly worried” for his safety while he remained in the country.
Australian diplomats had planned to get Turnell out of the country and he had been waiting for a car to take him to the Yangon airport when the military arrived to collect him from the city’s Chatrium Hotel, his friend and fellow Australian economist Tim Harcourt said.
Turnell had arrived in Myanmar from Australia less than a month ago and had been staying at the hotel. He permanent residence was in the capital Naypyitaw.