Ms JULIE BISHOP (Curtin—Minister for Foreign Affairs) (14:01): The Australian Government extends its deepest condolences to those people who have lost family or friends on Germanwings flight 4U9525 that crashed overnight in the French Alps.
Tragically, French authorities have confirmed that none of the 150 people on board have survived. Two Australians, Carol Friday and her son Greig Friday, residents of Victoria, were on board the flight. Consular officials have been in contact with the Friday family and are providing all possible consular assistance. Our thoughts and prayers are with them at this unimaginably difficult time.
The family are issuing a statement, at this moment, through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and have asked me to read part of it to the parliament:
Our family is in deep disbelief and crippled with sadness and would like to ask for privacy. Carol was a loving Mother of two, a devoted wife to her husband Dave and a sister to three brothers. She celebrated her 68th birthday on March 23rd. Greig was to turn 30 on 23rd April. He was a loving son to Carol and Dave and an exceptional brother to his sister Alex. He was adored by all of his family and friends. Carol and Greig were enjoying a few weeks holiday together at the start of his European stay. They were both extraordinary and exceptional people who were loved by many, who they loved in return. They will forever be with us in our hearts, memories and dreams.
We are checking passenger information to determine whether any other Australian citizens, dual national or permanent residents may have been on board. The French recovery operation is underway, but it will be a challenging task given the remote location seven kilometres from the nearest road and at 1,600 metres altitude. They are currently deploying over 600 gendarmes.
Our consular officials will set up a mobile office nearby where they will liaise with French authorities on the recovery effort. It is premature to speculate on what may have caused this terrible incident. Relevant authorities will undertake a thorough investigation. The parent company, Lufthansa, is working on the assumption of an accident, while French Prime Minister Valls has said that no hypothesis can be ruled out. When the black box is analysed this will hopefully provide more answers.
Australia will, of course, assist in any way possible.
- Minister's office: (02) 6277 7500
- DFAT Media Liaison: (02) 6261 1555