Today show, interview with Lisa Wilkinson

  • Transcript, E&OE

JOURNALIST: Foreign Minister Julie Bishopjoins me now. Foreign Minister, good morning to you.

JULIE BISHOP: Good morning Lisa.

JOURNALIST: Can you give us an update on thelatest information that you have on Jamie Murphy's situation?

JULIE BISHOP: OurConsul General in Bali has been in contact with theyoung man and we are arranging to visit him today, so our consularofficials will be making arrangements to visit him. As your reportersaid, under Indonesian law people can be held for three days whilean investigation is taken out and then if they are considered asuspect they can be held for a further three days and then a decisionis made whether to arrest or not. In the meantime our consularofficials from Canberra have been in touch with his family in Perthand we're providing whatever advice and support that we're able to dothese in circumstances.

JOURNALIST: Do you know what the parents'reaction is to what is going on over there at the moment?

JULIE BISHOP: At this stage our consular officials arein contact with them, providing advice and support on matterslike legal representation. But this is an opportunity for me to sayagain, that if you are travel overseas you have to remember that onceyou leave Australia, you leave the Australian legal system, youleave the support system here and you are subject to the laws ofanother country. And in the case of Indonesia, the laws can bevery harsh for offences or activities in Australia that might seemminor. So it is a warning to all those who are going overseas onSchoolies Week and to their parents and friends that we are subject tothe laws of another country when we visit those countries.

JOURNALIST: Are you comfortable with therather aggressive way he was being handled by Bali police during hisarrest.

JULIE BISHOP: I have witnessed this kindof behaviour before from the Indonesian police, and we'veseen it in a number of circumstances. But, again, I say we're subjectto their laws, to their system and the way they do things.

JOURNALIST: Alright. Well before you go,Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has divided opinion with hiscomments partly playing our terror issues on the Lebanese immigrationpolicies of the 1970s. Do you agree with his comments?

JULIE BISHOP: What he was seeking to say isthat back then we didn't have the kind of services that we do today.Today we have significant services available for people who arecoming to Australia to resettle here, but we also have significantsecurity and health checks to ensure that people who do come toAustralia can make a contribution to life here. I think that a lothas changed in the 30-odd, 40 years since the time that Peter Dutton wastalking about, that we now have do have significant support for thosewho are seeking to make a life in Australia.

JOURNALIST: He might have been trying to saythat but for a lot of people the words didn't really come out likethat. Do you accept that his words would be hurtful for many people in theLebanese community?

JULIE BISHOP: In fact he made it quite clear thathe respects and appreciates the contribution that theLebanese community make to Australia. He was talking about a verysmall cohort of young people in particular who have been caught up interrorism related offences. But he made it quite clear that theLebanese community, as with all ethnic communities, in our immigrationsystem has worked well to integrate so many people into Australia.We're one of the most successful multicultural nations on earth Ihope it remains that way.

JOURNALIST: Why do you think that Lebanesepeople are actually offended by his words?

JULIE BISHOP: I've not been contacted by anyonewho is offended and I know Peter Dutton has gone out of his way topraise the contribution that Lebanese Muslims and the Lebanesecommunity makes to Australia more generally. He was making a specificpoint about those who have been caught up in terror related offences.

JOURNALIST: Ok Foreign Minister, always goodto have you on the program. Thanks for your time this morning.


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