Doorstop interview

  • Transcript, E&OE

JULIEBISHOP: Therehas been another terrorist atrocity overnight, this time in Barcelona, Spain.The situation is still unfolding but at this stage we are informed that atleast 16 people have been killed and at least 100 people injured. TheAustralian Government condemns this brutal and deliberate act clearly designedto harm tourists on holidays in Spain. The Australian Government extends itsdeepest sorrow to the victims, to their families, to the people of Barcelona.We stand with the Government of Spain in denouncing this appalling act.

I have beenin contact with Australia's Ambassador to Spain and our consularpeople are in close contact with the Catalonian authorities. I canreport that one Australian woman, believed to be from New SouthWales, is in hospital in a serious but stable condition. Two youngAustralian men have advised us that they were directly affected, theyhave gone back to their hotel and they will seek medical treatment inthe morning.

I askall Australians who are in the vicinity to contact local authoritiesto let them know of their whereabouts and to contact their loved ones backin Australia. Otherwise, please act in accordance with theinstructions of local authorities.

If you arehere in Australia and have concerns about your loved ones or familyin Spain, please attempt to contact them directly. If you're unableto do so, from Australia call 1300 555 135 and if you're overseas andwanting to make contact with Australian consular officials, that's+61 2 6261 3305.

TheAustralian Government stands ready to provide whatever support we canto the Government of Spain and to Australians who may be affected bythis tragedy.

JOURNALIST:The New South Wales woman who wasinjured - do we know any more details about the extent of her injuries?

JULIEBISHOP: All we have been told at thisstage is that she's in a serious but stable condition. Our consular staffare on their way from Madrid to ensure that we have more staff on theground. Our Honorary Consul, who has been stationed in Barcelona for anumber of years, is visiting hospitals and keeping in close contactwith the authorities.

JOURNALIST: Those two Australian men that are injured, there are reports theywere two young men from Melbourne?

JULIEBISHOP: I believe they are from Victoriaand they have been in direct contact with our consular staff. They advised thatthey were directly affected but they have gone back to their hotel andthey will seek medical treatment in the morning. I don't know if they haveinjuries or they're just seeking to see a health professional in themorning.

JOURNALIST: Are there concernsthat there could be more Australians caught up in this attack?

JULIEBISHOP: The matter is unfolding.According to our Ambassador, reports are coming in constantly. We arein constant contact with the authorities. There could be more, but atthis stage, we know that there are multiple nationalities involvedamongst those who were killed and those who were injured.

JOURNALIST: What would be your advice toAustralians travelling to Spain at the moment?

JULIEBISHOP: My advice isto register on the Smartraveller website and to be very carefulwhen in places that attract tourists, and abide by the directions oflocal authorities. This situation is evolving, it's unfolding as wespeak so we will obviously keep the Australian people informedas information comes to hand.

JOURNALIST: Do we have any idea of the age ofthe New South Wales woman who was injured?

JULIEBISHOP: At this stage, we are trying togain more information, but we know that she's in a serious but stablecondition. Our consular staff will be at the hospital as soon as possible.

JOURNALIST: And they were all holidaying inSpain, they weren't working or anything?

JULIEBISHOP: My understanding is that the twoyoung men were on holidays in Spain. I don't have any further detailsabout the woman, we believe from New South Wales.

JOURNALIST: Are hotels still in lockdown inthe area?

JULIEBISHOP: The situation is evolving.Clearly with 16 people killed, with 100 we believe injured andreports that the police have killed one of the terrorists and havearrested two others, it's a very fluid situation. So my advice to anyAustralians in the area would be to ensure that they stay in their hotels,abide by any directions from local authorities and obviously listen to localmedia reports, but contact our consular officials if they needsupport and help.

JOURNALIST: Do we know if that Australianwoman has got family over there in Spain? Or will you be assisting getting herfamily over there?

JULIEBISHOP: Obviously, this is very earlydays. We know that there's an Australian woman, we believe from New SouthWales, we've been contacted by the authorities about her.We understand she's in a serious but stable condition and we will beat the hospital as soon as we are able. We have an Honorary Consul onthe ground in Barcelona now, he's visiting as many of the relevant placesas he can whether it is the crisis management centres or hospitals, but we alsohave more consular staff on their way.

JOURNALIST:There is a major sporting eventhappening on the weekend, La Vuelta, so there would be a lotAustralian travelling over there for that event. You know, if theyhaven't left yet, would you still advise them to fly in to Spain?

JULIEBISHOP: Of course, we must continue togo about our normal lives. Tragically, terrorist attacks are taking placearound the world. No one country, no one city is immune. We sawin Australia on 29 July that we were able to successfully avertwhat could have been a potentially catastrophic terrorist attack.These things can occur anywhere. That's why the Australian Governmentis so determined to take part in the international effort to combatand defeat terrorists wherever they may be. We know that as theanti-ISIS Coalition is more successful in driving ISIS out ofIraq and Syria, there are some terrorist fighters who will dig in to thedeath, there are others who will seek to flee, and there are othersupporters of ISIS around the world urging their supporters to carry out terrorist attacks.

So theAustralian Government is doing all we can to keep Australians safe athome and abroad, and we're working in an international effort to stamp outterrorism wherever it occurs. Thank you.

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