JULIE BISHOP Good morning Eddie, good morning Luke, Mick.
EDDIE MAGUIRE Unfortunately again Julie we are talking tragic circumstances, the news coming through that you announced about an hour ago - that two Victorians on board this plane that has crashed in France.
JULIE BISHOP It is heartbreaking news Eddie. I can confirm that two Australian citizens - a mother and her adult son from Victoria were on board that Germanwings flight that crashed in a remote area in the southern French Alps. It was a plane on route from Barcelona to Dusseldorf and it crashed near a town called Barcelonette in France about 100km north of Nice.
I’m not in a position to give any more details of our two citizens, the two Victorians, due to the privacy considerations of their family at this difficult time but I’m sure you and all your listeners join with me in providing them the support, the thoughts - and the prayers of all Australians - at this tragic time for them.
EDDIE MAGUIRE I gather Julie you just go through the manifest and then it filters through the various embassies over there and gets back to you then somebody has the terrible task of trying to notify the residents or the relatives here in Melbourne.
JULIE BISHOP Well that’s right. We are also seeking to identify whether any other Australian citizens or dual nationals or permanent residents may have been on board, so that information is still to come. But our consular officials, sadly, are very experienced in this and they are working with families, they are working in our embassy in Paris. In fact we have just had confirmation from the French authorities that our consular officials can now travel to the area. They are going to a town called Gap where the French authorities will be coordinating the recovery effort, the identification of remains and the like and we know what a grim task that is. So we are setting up a mobile office at that location so that we can provide immediate information and support to the families or anyone else affected by this tragic event.
EDDIE MAGUIRE Julie, I was going to say, your portfolio is so broad now because there are Australians everywhere around the world, aren’t there, travelling all the time?
JULIE BISHOP That’s right, Australians are incredible travellers. We love touring the world and plane travel is safe for the vast majority of people but of course terrible accidents can occur. And at this stage Lufthansa says it is working on the assumption that this plane crash was an accident and it is a terrible event but it can’t stop Australians from doing what we do and that is our curiosity and our enthusiasm and energy for life takes us all over the world. And so this is just a tragedy but our thoughts and prayers are not only with the Australians, but all other victims of this shocking tragedy. It seems that Germany and Spain and France are bearing the brunt of this tragedy and we are certainly extending our condolences to the nations and the people of those nations who are so affected.
LUKE DARCY Julie I know you have got an enormous amount to do today. We appreciate you taking the time out as always and informing our big audience here in Melbourne of exactly what has happened. So thanks for your time this morning.
JULIE BISHOP Thanks guys, I appreciate being on the show.
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