Today - Interview with Lisa Wilkinson
LISA WILKINSON: Ms Bishop, good morning to you.
JULIE BISHOP: Good morning Lisa.
LISA WILKINSON: Now thankfully we know that no Australians were among those killed or injured, but what are you hearing about who is behind this attack?
JULIE BISHOP: Lisa, it's a shocking incident and it must have been terrifying to have been present at the time of this attack. It certainly has all the hallmarks of a terrorist attack, although the German authorities have not yet confirmed the motive behind the incident. And we send our condolences to the families and loved ones of those killed. We hope for a full recovery of those who have been injured, and we stand with the German people and the German Government in the fight against terrorism, particularly where civilians are targeted. But the motive behind this is still not yet confirmed.
LISA WILKINSON: What's your advice to anyone planning to travel to Berlin or indeed anywhere else oversees this Christmas?
JULIE BISHOP: First I ask Australians to register their travel plans on our Smart Traveller website, to read our travel advice, to monitor the media and to listen to the directions of local authorities. Our travel advice for Germany was in fact updated on 17 December to warn people that Christmas markets and places of mass gatherings are vulnerable to attacks. And so we ask people to take care, to take the normal precautions, but if they are visiting places like a Christmas market, to ensure that they have an exit plan worked out should there be a security incident of this type or worse.
LISA WILKINSON: So what about here at home? Is there cause to raise the terror threat here?
JULIE BISHOP: We have not changed our alert. It remains at probable, but we have ensured that our law enforcement, security and intelligence agencies have the resources, the legislative power and the focus to ensure that we keep Australians as safe as possible. Our Federal Police are working in cooperation with state and territory police to ensure that over the Christmas period people can be kept as safe as possible.
LISA WILKINSON: There are so many big public events attracting huge crowds over the Christmas and New Year period. What sort of assurance can you genuinely give people planning to attend these events that everything possible is being done to keep them safe?
JULIE BISHOP: I can assure the Australian people that we're doing all we can to give our security, law enforcement and intelligence agencies the resources and the powers they need. But no government can give a guarantee. We have thwarted about 11 attempted terrorist attacks in Australia over the past two, two-and-a-half years, but you can't guarantee that such an event won't occur. All we can do is ensure that our police and security agencies have all of the resources and the powers that they need to act in the interest of Australians and try and keep us as safe as possible.
LISA WILKINSON: Alright, Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, we do thank you very much for your time this morning.
JULIE BISHOP: Thank you Lisa.