Triple M Hot Breakfast - Interview with Eddie McGuire, Luke Darcy, Rosie Walton, Mick Molloy

  • Transcript, E&OE

JOURNALIST: As I mentioned just before the news, the Minister for Foreign Affairs the Honourable Julie Bishop, has released a statement saying that the Government is deeply saddened and confirmed that two Australians have been killed in the London terrorist attack - and the Minister joins us on the line this morning. Good morning Julie.

JULIE BISHOP: Good morning, Eddie.

EDDIE MCGUIRE: We seem to always be talking in difficult circumstances, but this is horrible news this morning that a second Australian has now been confirmed dead.

JULIE BISHOP: Indeed. I can confirm that two Australians, two young women were killed in the London attacks and the British authorities have asked us not to publicly identify them until the official coronial processes have been completed and the families have been officially advised. But I think most people will join with me in extending our deepest sympathies. I think I can speak on behalf of all Australians to say that the savagery of these attacks just leaves us speechless, but our thoughts and our support are with the families and their friends. Two beautiful young women enjoying a night out in London and these brutal attacks took place, it just leaves one speechless. It really does.

EDDIE MCGUIRE: Julie, it took a while for the authorities to be able to identify the two women. Was there a breakdown or was that just held back, wasn't released to the public?

JULIE BISHOP: I think the British are being very careful in the process of identification and notification. There are a number of foreign nationals involved and they are going through the processes very carefully; the coronial process, the identification and notification process. You will appreciate that Britain has had a sequence of attacks in recent days. It's not so long ago that the Manchester attack took place, so their authorities are being absolutely thorough. They are adhering to international best practice when it comes to body identification and notification. So regrettably it is taking some time but we are of course abiding by their request and of course we are in touch with the families and the families have asked for privacy and you can understand that and we ask the media to respect the families wishes.

EDDIE MCGUIRE: Julie, we saw Theresa May come out and say enough is enough. What's the next steps for Australia? So far, touch wood, we have avoided some of these incidents. We have had terrorist incidents - obviously had them in Melbourne as recently as two days ago. But is there a step for us to go to next? Or what is the collective world thinking on this horrible situation at the moment?

JULIE BISHOP: Eddie, for a start we have a difference in that Australia has been very successful in integrating people from all over the world into our community and we are one of the most successful multicultural nations on earth. Somewhat like the United States, we have welcomed people from all over the world and integrated them into our society. It hasn't been done as successfully in other parts of the world, in Europe in particular, and so there are pockets of radicalisation and pockets of extremism that exists in Europe that don't exist to the same extent here. That's not to say we are immune but it is a different environment to a certain extent.

What we are concerned about is radicalisation of people online, people being incited by hateful speech by a terrible ideology that seems to think that this kind of savagery is acceptable when it is absolutely not. So we are working with communities, our police and security and law enforcement agencies are working very closely with communities to see if we can detect any sense that an attack might take place. We have been very successful in recent times in getting a lot of information about potential attacks. I think over 60 people have been arrested for terrorist related attacks, but this is an ongoing challenge for us. Our laws are constantly under review to ensure that our law enforcement agencies have the powers that they need to detain, arrest. We have got all of our law enforcement and security and intelligence agencies continually reviewing what they do, what they need, what resources might be required. We have as the Prime Minister said on a number of occasions got a number of reviews underway. For example, where public gather, mass crowds, mass gatherings, we are reviewing all our practices and security arrangements, but we just have to be vigilant. We have to keep watching out for any signs of radicalisation amongst young people and any indication that people might be turning to terrorism as a path forward. So it's an ongoing challenge for governments at every level, for law enforcements agencies and information is key. Our intelligence agencies need information to ensure that they can keep us as safe as possible.

EDDIE MCGUIRE: Thank you Julie for taking the time this morning. I know it's a very busy time for you but we always appreciate the fact you come on to Triple M to speak to our listeners here in Melbourne.

JULIE BISHOP: Thanks Eddie.

EDDIE MCGUIRE: Good on you. Julie Bishop there, the Foreign Affairs Minister of Australia speaking to us here on Triple M's Hot Breakfast.

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