Doorstop interview, Adelaide
JOURNALIST Minister tell us what you know about this missing flight?
JULIE BISHOP We have had reports throughout the day about this missing AirAsia flight. I have spoken personally with Indonesian Foreign Minister Marsudi and I have offered whatever assistance the Indonesian Government may seek and I have expressed our deep concern for the passengers and crew on board that flight and our thoughts and prayers are with their families.
The search and rescue operation is under way and we hope and pray that there will be survivors. I have also been in contact with the Foreign Ministers of Singapore, Malaysia and South Korea for they also have citizens of their countries on board that flight.
JOURNALIST Were there any Australians on board?
JULIE BISHOP We understand that there were no Australians on board that flight however I have sought the manifest so that we can check for any dual nationals or permanent residents but we understand that there were no Australians on board that flight. We have offered our support and assistance should any country seek it but nobody has taken up that offer at this point. I am remaining in contact with the Foreign Ministers of the countries concerned.
JOURNALIST What sort of assistance would Australia be able to offer?
JULIE BISHOP We may be able to assist in the search and rescue operation but we're waiting to hear from Foreign Ministers in Indonesia and Singapore or any other countries involved in this search and rescue mission.
JOURNALIST Do we have any crews like navy crews in the area that we know of?
JULIE BISHOP Australia will take on board any requests and respond how we can but at this stage we've made an offer to assist the Indonesia Government specifically and we're waiting to hear from them should they need that but I understand the search and rescue operation is under way.
JOURNALIST What do you know about the last contact the pilot had with communications in Indonesia?
JULIE BISHOP Foreign Minister Marsudi of Indonesia informed me that the last contact was with Jakarta air control, air traffic control out of Jakarta.
JOURNALIST How concerning is it to hear of another flight? We've had a pretty horrible year, haven't we?
JULIE BISHOP It's always deeply concerning when you hear news such as this. And all we can do is ascertain as much as we can about the details of the flight and to determine whether there are any Australians on board. Our embassy in Jakarta, our High Commission in Singapore have been working closely with local authorities to determine those details.
JOURNALIST How soon do you hope to get that information?
JULIE BISHOP This will be a matter for our embassies and our High Commissions overseas to determine what information that they can get from local authorities but at this stage I've made personal contact with the Indonesian Foreign Minister and made contact with the Foreign Ministers of South Korea, Singapore and Malaysia and offered our support and assistance if they should need it.