JOURNALIST ... I've just got a few questions from our Canberra Bureau just in regard to the asylum seeker issue with claims that hands were burnt. What's your response to that?
JULIE BISHOP The ABC has admitted that it published unsubstantiated claims. In my view if they got it wrong they should apologise and then we can move on.
What the media should be focussing upon is the fact that we have now prevented deaths at sea. It's been over 50 days since an asylum seeker boat made its way to Australia. What that means is we're stopping that dangerous journey to Australia where in the past, over 1100 people died on that journey. So we're stopping the boats, we promised the Australian people we would do that, we're working hard to do it.
I think the focus should be on sending a message to the criminal syndicates that make up the people smuggling trade that the Australian Government is determined to dismantle the trade and to stop the boats.
JOURNALIST Just on Schapelle Corby, what's your reaction to Schapelle being granted parole?
JULIE BISHOP The Australian Government welcomes the decision. I'm sure it will come as a great relief for Schapelle Corby and her family and friends. The decision by Indonesia's Minister for Law and Human Rights is welcomed.
I understand that now that the decision to grant parole has been made it will be a matter for authorities to determine the timing of her release but I hope that she is now given some privacy as she gets her life back together.
JOURNALIST Will the Australian Government be doing anything to stop her profiting from her crime?
JULIE BISHOP As a principle the Australian Government believes that people should not profit from crime, but this is a matter ultimately for the Australian Federal Police and the Director of Public Prosecutions - that area of profit from crime is independent of government.
JOURNALIST What would you say to media organisations that may be vying now, you know, putting millions of dollars in the kitty to try and buy her story?
JULIE BISHOP I would imagine that Ms Corby would want some peace and privacy and if she asks for that I hope they will respect that request.
She is on parole, she will be in Indonesia throughout her parole period and if she requests privacy I hope she's given that privacy. I'm sure she will want some peace and some time with her family.
JOURNALIST Do you anticipate that will actually happen though?
JULIE BISHOP Well that's a matter for the media organisations involved and Ms Corby but I'm sure it's a relief for her to get the news that she's been granted parole. The Australian Government, both the former and the current, have supported her parole application since it was first lodged in October 2012.
JOURNALIST She is a convicted drug smuggler, do you think she should profit from her crime?
JULIE BISHOP As I said, the Australian Government believes in the principle that people should not profit from crime, but whether or not these circumstances arise or whether or not action is taken, will be a matter for the Australian Federal Police and for the Director of Public Prosecutions. These are matters independent of government.
- Minister's office: (02) 6277 7500
- DFAT Media Liaison: (02) 6261 1555