Joint Doorstop Interview

  • Transcript, E&OE

JOURNALIST ForeignMinister, can we ask for your response to the attacks in Brussels?

MINISTER BISHOP TheAustralian Government condemns these horrific terrorist attacks. We haveoffered our support to the Belgian Government to assist in any way we can totrack down those responsible for these atrocious attacks on civilians. We areworking closely with the Belgian authorities to ascertain whether anyAustralians were involved in any of the attacks, whether any Australians havebeen affected. To date there is no information to suggest that that is thecase. Our Post in Brussels has been working assiduously to account for allAustralians that we know that are in Brussels at this time and we urge anyonewho is on Belgium to register with the Australian Government through theSmartraveller website, that's, so that we can assure theirloved ones that they are safe. Our thoughts are with the people of Belgium atthis time and it was a reminder that we must redouble our efforts to counterterrorism wherever it occurs and in whatever form.

JOURNALIST Isthere any chance that Australia will increase the threat level there? Is thatbeing considered?

MINISTER BISHOP Australiahas already changed our advice on smartraveller to advise that people shouldreconsider their need to travel. For those who are in Belgium they should staycalm but listen to the advice of local authorities and act accordingly.

JOURNALIST Whatlessons for Australia?

MINSITER BISHOP Thelessons continue to be the same after every attack. No country is immune. Thisis why we are assisting in the coalition fight against terrorism at its sourcein Syria and Iraq. That's why Australia has increased the level of cooperationwith countries in our region. That's why we have legislated to ensure that oursecurity and law enforcement agencies have the powers they need to tackleterrorism. That's why we're working on deradicalisation programs. We areadopting a whole of government approach to ensure that the Australian peopleare as safe as can be.

JOURNALIST Andwhat measures are being taken at Australia's airports and at various otherplaces?

MINISTER DUTTON Obviouslythe government has ramped up our investment at Australian airports over thecourse of the last couple of years. We've stood up counter terrorism unitofficers of the Australian Border Force at our nine international airports. Andwe've been able to work with ASIO with the Australian Federal Police and withother authorities to do all that we can to keep Australians safe and if anybodyhas any information at all they should contact the proper authorities, contact the police and provide that information,but we are working as hard as we can at our Australian airports and people whotravel at our airports over the last couple of years will have seen theincreased presence of Australian Border Force officers working with AustralianFederal Police and other agencies to make sure that we can keep Australianssafe.

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