Sunrise, Channel Seven - interview with David Koch

  • Transcript, E&OE

DAVID KOCH:Let's bring in our Foreign Minister Julie Bishop from Canberra. Foreign Minister, good to see you. Now we don't yet know the motivation for this attack, are you concerned this could be connected to Canada sending military aircraft to join the operation against the Islamic State in Iraq just as we are doing?

JULIE BISHOP:Good morning Kochie. It is too early to say the motivation behind this attack on the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Ottawa or indeed the circumstances surrounding the shooting of the gunman in their Parliament House. But it does have the hallmarks of a terrorist attack in the sense that in the past the terrorist organisations including ISIL have indicated that they would target countries like Canada, Australia, any country that opposes its murderous and brutal ideology. The fact that Canadian armed forces have been targeted is deeply concerning. This is a shocking event, it has clearly shaken Canada and it does remind us that this kind of violence can happen anywhere, at any time.

DAVID KOCH:Is our Embassy close by to where it happened and does that cause you concern as well, for not only our Parliament House and security here in Australia, but our Embassies overseas?

JULIE BISHOP:Well our embassy is in fact two blocks from Parliament Hill. You can see Parliament House from our Embassy building. I spoke to our High Commissioner Louise Hand just a short while ago – all of our staff are safe, they have been in lockdown because our embassy is within the cordoned off area. They have been allowed to leave on foot just a few moments ago. Up until then they have spent all day inside our high commission building.

I also did make contact with Foreign Minister John Baird of Canada – I know him well – about 4am this morning I made contact with him. He was still inside Parliament House. He had told me that he was about 50 feet away from the gunman that was shot in the Hall of Honour. In fact, that's the place where Prime Minister Abbott met Prime Minister Harper during Prime Minister Abbott's visit there in June. He was still part of the lockdown in Parliament.Obviously, it is a very difficult challenging time for Canada and our thoughts and support are with our friends there.

DAVID KOCH:Absolutely. We are so close to Canada. They are like Australia and North America, they have a similar culture, similar society, similar sense of humour.That incredible photo inside Parliament there of barricading the door into the chamber is just frightening. I know you've tightened security at our Parliament House, are you going to take it up another step?

JULIE BISHOP:This is a matter that our security agencies will obviously

consider. The Prime Minister will be meeting with our National Security Committee today and we will discuss these issues but we have taken steps in recent times to ensure that our Parliament House is safe. Indeed, the Government's focus is on ensuring that it the Australian people are protected from these kinds of attacks and we have been focussing our efforts on ensuring that our country is as safe as it can be.

DAVID KOCH:I am glad you are. Foreign Minister, thanks for joining us.

JULIE BISHOP:My pleasure.

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