A former Ballarat man sentenced to death in China for smuggling ice in 2013 will appeal his sentence in coming days, media reports.
Karm Gilespie, who was born in Ballarat and did an apprenticeship at Brimarco caravans before becoming an actor and motivational speaker, was sentenced on Saturday and has 10 days to appeal the verdict.
It comes after the family of the Australian man sentenced to death for drug smuggling in China have asked friends not to speculate on his case.
"Our family is very saddened by the situation," his family said on Monday.
"We also request that friends and acquaintances of Karm refrain from speculating on his current circumstances, which we do not believe assists his case."
The prime minister says he is sad and concerned about the case.
Scott Morrison says Australian officials have raised his case with Chinese counterparts on a number of occasions and are still working to secure his freedom.
"I and the government are very sad and concerned that an Australian citizen, Mr Karm Gilespie, has been sentenced to death in China," he told parliament.
"Our thoughts are with him, his family and his loved ones."
Mr Morrison said the government would continue to support Gilespie and reiterated Australia's opposition to the death penalty.
Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack has highlighted the need for diplomacy in the case, rejecting assertions the penalty may be politically motivated.
"What we need to do is be very careful, and what we need to do is make sure that anything that's said about this matter doesn't affect Mr Gilespie's cause and case in any way, shape or form," he told the ABC.
"We want to make sure that we give him every available assistance and we are, through the proper processes."
Karm Gilespie, was arrested with more than 7.5 kilograms of methamphetamine in his check-in luggage in 2013 while attempting to board an international flight from Baiyun Airport in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou.
The Guangzhou Intermediate People's Court announced his sentencing on Saturday. The court also ordered that all of Gilespie's personal property be confiscated.
Media reports maintain Gilespie, aged in his 50's, was a television actor in the 1990's before becoming a motivational speaker, a role he was working in when he was arrested.
His social media pages are full of motivational advice but end abruptly in November 2013.
Gilespie's Linked in profile lists him as the founder of Act Your Life, and a director of Ample Wealth.
Before that it lists his education as completing a Bachelor of Education at Victoria College / Deakin University undertaken from 1986-1990 but also notes he completed an apprenticeship building caravans at Brimarco in Ballarat.
"This is very distressing for Mr Gilespie and his loved ones, and our government will continue to provided consular assistance," Senator Birmingham told Sky News' Sunday Agenda program.
Senior Labor frontbencher Chris Bowen said the sentence was "deeply concerning".
Mr Bowen said drug smuggling was a serious crime, "but the death penalty is never the right answer".
Senator Birmingham said Gilespie still has a 10-day window to appeal the verdict.He said Australia condemns the death penalty in all circumstances across all countries.
"This is a reminder to all Australians ... that Australian laws don't apply overseas, that other countries have much harsher penalties, particularly in relation to matters such as drug trafficking," the minister said.
Mr Bowen said both sides of politics opposed the death penalty; "The government will have our full support ... and we trust and expect they are making the appropriate representations quietly behind the scenes," he told reporters in Sydney.