Doorstop at the Annika Linden Centre
JULIE BISHOP: Good morning. I arrived in Bali last evening for the BaliProcess meeting that I'll be co-chairing with Foreign Minister Retno Marsudiover the next two days. Last night therewas a 7.0 magnitude earthquake in Lombok, the second in a week. There have been reports of loss of life andwidespread damage and I understand the latest death toll is at 82. I extend our deepest sympathies to the peopleof Indonesia and particularly those who have been directly affected by thisnatural disaster. The Australian Governmentstands with the Indonesian Government in offering our support, should that berequired. There are no reports ofAustralian casualties but our Consulate-General in Bali is working closely withthe Indonesian authorities. We haveconsular staff on Lombok island at the airport and at Senggigi Beach. Minister Peter Dutton, the AustralianMinister for Home Affairs, and his delegation were in Lombok at the time andhave been evacuated from their hotel and have arrived safely in Bali. I do urge any Australians, and indeedCanadians because we also have consular responsibilities for Canadians, whorequire assistance to contact our Department of Foreign Affairs and Tradeconsular staff who are on Lombok or contact the Consulate in Bali. In the meantime, I give thanks to the Lombokauthorities, the police and others who assisted the Australian delegation andwho are working with us in ensuring that assistance is being provided to thosein need. I will be here for the BaliProcess meeting over the next two days.
JOURNALIST: Accordingto the Bali Process, what kind of issues will be discussed with our MinisterRetno?
JULIE BISHOP: The Bali Process is a longstanding regional forum thatAustralia co-chairs with Indonesia. We focus on regional issues includingpeople smuggling, terrorism, the issues of human trafficking, modern slaveryand other transnational crimes. We willbe working with the almost 50 other countries involved in the Bali Process tocontinue to find ways to work together to tackle these crimes, and to continuethe cooperation that exists between countries to ensure that our borders aresafe and that vulnerable people are not subjected to the efforts of thecriminal people smuggling syndicates and networks.
JOURNALIST: Minister,were you in Bali yesterday when the earthquake happened?
JULIE BISHOP: In fact I was on a Garuda flight from Surabaya to Bali atthe time of the earthquake but on arrival I was briefed by the AustralianConsulate and the staff here and we have made contact with our delegation inLombok and they are now all here safely in Bali.
JOURNALIST: Is there any specific supportyou will give us, Australia, for the victims?
JULIE BISHOP: The Australian Government has already provided suppliesthat were urgently needed by the Indonesian Red Cross. We have pre-positioned supplies in Java –tents, food, water, other essential supplies – and we stand ready to supportthe Indonesian Government should a request be made. But the NGOs like Red Cross are seekingsupport and we have certainly provided these supplies that are so urgentlyneeded.
JOURNALIST: Howmany Australians at the moment are in Lombok, maybe in Gili?
JULIE BISHOP: We are assessing how many Australians are there. We havestaff on the ground, there were two or three consulate staff who were in Lombokanyway with Minister Dutton's delegation and we have sent two more consulatestaff from Bali to make sure that we can contact any Australians and Canadianswho might be in need of support. So we are assessing the numbers now. At this stage, there are no reports of anyAustralian casualties or serious injury.
JOURNALIST: Isthere any impact for Australians who visit to Bali and Lombok?
JULIE BISHOP: We certainly hope that the after-effects can be managed,that the damage can be assessed and that life can return to normal. We know that these earthquakes have adevastating effect on local communities but Australians love Indonesia, theylove coming to Bali and Lombok and I feel sure that they will continue to doso. It's a very popular tourist destination for Australians.