PRESENTER We are speaking to Foreign Minister Julie Bishop. Minister, thank you very much for joining us. What can you tell us about these two Australians?
JULIE BISHOP The heartbreaking news is that two Australians were on board this Lufthansa flight, a Germanwings flight, that crashed in the French Alps. Carol and Greig Friday – they were on a European holiday before Greig was going to spend time teaching English. Our deepest sympathies are extended to the family at this unimaginably difficult time for them.
PRESENTER Have you had a chance to speak to the families?
JULIE BISHOP We have consular contact with the families but they have asked for privacy, and I will make contact with them at an appropriate time when they are ready to take the call.
PRESENTER And will Australia be sending over representatives to help with the investigation?
JULIE BISHOP We do have consular officials going to the town where the coordination site for the crash is being set up and so we will have representatives on the ground. We have offered any support that the French Government may need in terms of the investigation and the recovery effort and we will wait for the French Government to let us know what is required.
PRESENTER World leaders, Barack Obama, Angela Merkel, have said there is no indication that terrorism played a part here. Can we rule out such an attack?
JULIE BISHOP I understand that the parent company, Lufthansa, is adopting the approach that it is an accident, although I note that the French Prime Minister said that no hypothesis can be ruled out at this stage. The black box has been located and I understand it has gone back to Paris and that should be able to provide more answers as to how this happened and why. Lufthansa does have a very good safety record, the Airbus is the work horse of the European aviation industry so until we have the black box reviewed and investigated we won't know the answers to that.
PRESENTER Julie Bishop, thank you very much for your time tonight.
JULIE BISHOP Thank you.
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