Press Gallery, Parliament House - doorstop interview

  • Transcript, E&OE
30 October 2014

JOURNALIST:Minister can you give us an update on the status of Ali Baryalei?

JULIE BISHOP:The security agencies are still working to confirm whether or not he has been killed. You can imagine that it's very difficult to get confirmation of this type of matter in an area that's currently held by ISIL. If he has been killed he will be the sixteenth Australian who will have died in this conflict in Iraq or Syria and that's why we're urging Australians not to travel to Iraq or Syria to take up arms with ISIL or any other terrorist organisation. It is against Australian law. It's adding to the suffering of the people of Iraq and Syria and of course it's putting their own lives in mortal danger.

JOURNALIST:Do you have any concerns about limits on press freedom in that first tranche of legislation?

JULIE BISHOP:I believe we have struck the right balance. It's a similar legislation to that which applies to the Australian Federal Police and that legislation was introduced by the Labor Party. So I think it strikes the appropriate balance.

JOURNALIST:We've seen video released encouraging young Australians to join the fight against ISIL. Is that alarming to you?

JULIE BISHOP:I think Australians are entitled to be shocked and outraged by that video and similar videos that children as young as six are being enlisted into a hateful ideology. They should be playing in their playgrounds with friends and not being enlisted by irresponsible adults to an ideology that preaches hatred against the country in which they live.

I understand this has been referred to the Department of Family and Community Welfare in New South Wales.

JOURNALIST:We've just seen the Environment Minister sneak by. Would you be happy with an Emissions Trading Scheme to be re-introduced if the recommendation comes down in 18 months?

JULIE BISHOP:No that's not Coalition policy.

JOURNALIST:Are we still waiting for our Special Forces soldiers to be granted visas by Iraq?

JULIE BISHOP:There is still some paperwork to be done but I won't go into the details of the movements of our Special Forces because obviously that's not a matter that we'd discuss, nor would we flag it. I know the Iraqi Government is very grateful for our offer of assistance from our Special Forces to train, assist and advise the Iraqi Security Forces. They need to take back territory, they need to combat this extremism and of course Australians who are fighting over there put themselves at risk of being killed.

JOURNALIST:Will the Government agree to this review by the National Security Legislation monitor that Bill Shorten has asked the Prime Minister for in his letter?

JULIE BISHOP:I haven't seen the letter. All I note is that Bill Shorten, after the event, is saying that he's got concerns about matters that have been subjected to detailed analysis by his own side, by his own members. So I think you can see the context of this letter for what it is.

JOURNALIST:Are able to say whether it will be weeks or months before those Special Forces move in?

JULIE BISHOP:No I won't go into details. Obviously it's a security issue and we want to make sure our Special Forces are as safe as possible and therefore their movements are not a matter for public consideration.

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