Interview with Georgie Gardner, Today Show

  • Transcript, E&OE
07 August 2018

GEORGIE GARDNER: ForeignMinister Julie Bishop joins us now from Bali. Minister, good morning to you.The death toll is edging towards a hundred, as you know, many more injured.What's the latest? Are any Australians among those injured?

JULIE BISHOP: Goodmorning Georgie. The death toll is rising, we understand it is about 98 at thisstage, it could well go higher. There are no reports of any Australiancasualties or serious injury. We are providing consular support to a number ofAustralians. We have sent five of our consular staff from Jakarta and Baliconsulate to Lombok and they are working with the Australians who are in needof assistance. But there are no reports of Australian casualties. Our thoughtsare clearly with the people of Indonesia, the people of Lombok, and we areworking closely with the Indonesian authorities to provide whatever assistancewe can. We also have responsibility for Canadians under a consular agreement,so we are looking out for Canadians as well. But at this stage we are doing allwe can to support the Australians who are stranded on Lombok or more likely tobe on Gili Island that is not accessible by aeroplane, only by boat.

GEORGIE GARDNER: So what sort of updates are those who are stranded getting from Australianauthorities?

JULIE BISHOP:Weunderstand that there are boats going from Gili Island to Lombok. The airportin Lombok is still operating, as is the airport here in Bali. So Australians inneed of assistance will be able to meet with Australian consular staff. Theyare already in a hotel, Aruna Hotel in Sengiggi, that is north of the capitalin Lombok, and they will be seeking to access Gili Island as well. But in themeantime, I urge all Australians to cooperate with the local authorities. Theyare doing the best they can to ensure that everybody is evacuated from GiliIsland by boat.

GEORGIE GARDNER: Haveyou spoken to the Indonesian President, Minister?

JULIE BISHOP: No,I haven't. I am meeting with the Foreign Minister, Retno Marsudi today, I'vebeen spending time with her. We've been in touch over the last couple of daysand she'll be arriving in Bali and I'm meeting with her today, the ForeignMinister of Indonesia.

GEORGIE GARDNER: Alrightand what is the nature of the assistance that Australia is offering Indonesia?

JULIE BISHOP: Wedo have pre-positioned supplies in Java – food and shelter, tents, that kind ofbasic equipment for the aftermath of natural disasters and we have providedsome of that to Indonesian Red Cross. They've asked for basic supplies tosupport people who are in need. The Indonesian Government has not asked for anyassistance but we have said if there's something that we can do to assist inthis natural disaster we certainly would offer.

GEORGIE GARDNER: Alrightand just finally what's your message to people planning on still travelling toLombok or indeed Bali? As we know it'ssuch a hotspot for Australian tourists.

JULIE BISHOP: Well,at this stage Bali has not been affected by the earthquake but Lombok has beenaffected. In fact there was another shock oversight. So at this stage I wouldallow the authorities to deal with the situation in Lombok and that is to helppeople leave. Some are staying, likewise some are still staying on Gili Island,but there are many who want to be evacuated so allow the authorities to dothat. Otherwise Bali remains a beautiful place to visit but there areearthquakes in this region. It is prone to earthquakes at this time of theyear.

GEORGIE GARDNER: Alright,we'll leave it there for now. Julie Bishop thank you very much.

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