Doorstop interview - War Memorial, Canberra

  • Transcript, E&OE

JULIE BISHOP: The Australian Government strongly condemns the latest illegal missile test carried out by the North Korean regime. North Korea is in direct defiance of numerous United Nations Security Council resolutions to cease its illegal ballistic missile nuclear weapons programs. We understand that this particular missile, whilst of intermediate range, flew further than any previous test carried out by Pyongyang.

It is absolutely essential that every country around the world fully implements the range of sanctions that have been mandated by the UN Security Council, particularly those on the 5th of August and the 11th of September. Australia believes that putting increased economic pressure on North Korea is a vital element of our collective strategy with the international community, to compel North Korea to change its behaviour.

Next week I will lead Australia's delegation to the UN General Assembly Leader's Week, where I will meet with counterpart foreign ministers and with leaders, and I will continue to reiterate Australia's support for the collective strategy to compel North Korea to change its ways, and to deter it from carrying out any further illegal tests.

JOURNALIST: Minister, Barnaby Joyce has actually warned this morning that this missile had enough range to hit Adelaide. Is that accurate, and are we now have a situation where we are looking at potential domestic targets here?

JULIE BISHOP: We are still to receive detailed information about this particular
test. I understand it was an intermediate range missile test, but we are informed that it did fly further than previous tests. The regime has carried out over 80, nearly 90, illegal ballistic missile tests and it seems that on each occasion it gains greater capability.

That's why it must be deterred from carrying out any further tests, and Australia will continue to work with the international community to exert maximum pressure on North Korea in economic terms, to make it change its behaviour.

JOURNALIST: OK, and just to clarify, in relation to the same-sex marriage bill, John Howard is asking for the Government to put out the details of the bill it would put before Parliament if the same-sex survey comes back with a yes answer. Why won't your government put that bill out there, so that people can see what the detail of it will be?

JULIE BISHOP: I believe the Prime Minister answered that this morning. He welcomed John Howard's contribution, and hoped that John Howard would work with the Government if he has a contribution to make, as I'm sure he does, as many people do, on the detail of the bill. The first step is to get the results of the survey. It's a very simple question. It's whether or not the laws should be changed to allow same-sex marriage – and once we have that indication from the Australian people then we will take the matter to the next step.

JOURNALIST: So there is no bill at this stage? People just want, I guess, the question is, whether or not the Government should be upfront about what legislation its planning to put to the Parliament now so people are informed when they tick that box.

JULIE BISHOP: I understand the position is that we will hold this survey. The High Court has upheld the validity of it and that's the path that we're proceeding on. That was the promise that we took to the Australian people - that we would hold a plebiscite so that people could have their say. That's my focus, to ensure that people can have a say on the fundamental question – should the law be changed?

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