Triple M Hot Breakfast, Interview with Eddie McGuire, Luke Darcy and Mick Molloy

  • Transcript, E&OE

JOURNALIST: Foreign Minister Julie Bishop joins us onTriple M's Hot Breakfast. Julie I know you are so busy but the people ofMelbourne appreciate hearing it right from the top. Good morning to you andanother tragic day in the geo-political world that we live in.

JULIE BISHOP: Good morning Eddie, it is indeed. I am inWashington D.C. attending a meeting of the Coalition of countries that aredetermined to defeat ISIS, the terrorist organisation. During the course of themeeting we heard the news about the attack in London, in the Westminster regionof London. Britain's Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson was here at our meetingand was obviously visibly shocked and saddened by this incident and he spoke tothe meeting about it. The Australian Government has also extended our deepcondolences to the British people and the British Government. A police officerwas killed in this attack and others. We stand with Britain in our solidarityto defeat terrorism. This is being treated as a terrorist attack, unless theinvestigation shows otherwise.

JOURNALIST: At the moment four people are dead includingthe perpetrator, and at the moment 20 people injured, 12 severely, critical,catastrophic is what they have said, talking about the injuries that thesepeople have received; a horrible situation. The centre of democracy in GreatBritain, Westminster, locked down, the Prime Minister having to be taken awayto a safe cell. It is just a horrible situation on so many points, the deathand destruction but even the attack on the symbols of democracy. When you arein that room and you looked across at Boris Johnson, Julie, and the otherpeople there, is it a sense of resignation almost these days or do people stillget up on their toes saying 'right, come on, we must continue to fight this'?

JULIE BISHOP: It is a sense of determination and aresolute resolve, if you like, to continue to fight against ISIS, to preventISIS from flourishing, to defeat it in Syria and Iraq and also to preventterrorist inspired attacks elsewhere in the world. We have seen some shocking,tragic incidents over the years in Paris, in Nice, in Brussels and in London,in fact we have thwarted a number of terrorist attacks in Australia. They canoccur at any time anywhere, all we can do is ensure our security and lawenforcement and intelligence agencies have the resources they need and that thelaws are there so that we can use them to keep Australians as safe as possible.But it is a terrible reminder of what can go on and yes, I felt very much forForeign Secretary Boris Johnson as he was having to deal with this issue so farfrom home. Had he not been at this meeting he obviously would have been at theHouse of Commons, near where all this occurred. It is a terrible tragedy but wewill continue to stand with Britain and other countries to defeat terrorism.

JOURNALIST: Julie, in the last couple of days we have seen the United States andthe UK ban devices laptop sized and iPad sized on flights coming out of theMiddle East. Is there added concern, is there a raise in the alarm and threats toterror on the back of that?

JULIE BISHOP: The Australian Government is takingadvice from our security agencies, our intelligence agencies in relation to it.Obviously if there is a change in advice we would react accordingly, but wehave notified travellers on our Smartraveller website that this change hasoccurred. So if people are transiting from one of the ten airports that havebeen nominated then they must abide by these new restrictions, but theAustralian Government will respond if we receive security advice to thataffect.

JOURNALIST: Julie, it is 12 months since the Brusselsincident and a similar situation, whether it is a copycat or a tribute, orwhatever the case may be, we will find out in due course I suppose. Is there araising, as far as the collective governments and intelligences agencies, isthere a raise in concern at the moment of what is going on around the world?

JULIE BISHOP: People are deeply concerned about theseattacks that may well be inspired by ISIS. The difficulty of course isdetecting them. If someone self-radicalises or they haven't been in connectionwith either a racialising group or a terrorist group, or they haven't been incontact with our authorities before, it is very difficult, nigh on impossibleto detect this in advance. That is why people have to be as vigilant aspossible, be aware that this type of thing can go on, and obviously follow thedirections of local authorities at any time. But we can't let this stop peoplecarrying on their lives as normal. We have to do all we can to keep Australianssafe, but we also have to be aware that these kinds of attacks can occur. Thereis an absolute resolve on the part of the countries represented here at thismeeting – 68 countries in the larger Coalition group and 22 countries,including Australia, of those who are making significant contributions to thefight against terrorism – an absolute resolve on their part to do all we can todefeat terrorism and keep people safe.

JOURNALIST: Julie, thanks very much for joining us.We really appreciate stepping out in the United States to take our call. Thankyou very much for speaking to the people Melbourne this morning on Triple M.

JULIE BISHOP: Thanks Eddie, and thanks to yourlisteners too.

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