EDDIE MAGUIRE Joining us on the line from Manila is our Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, the Deputy Prime Minister of Australia, and we really appreciate Julie taking the time to speak to Triple M’s Hot Breakfast.
Good morning Julie.
JULIE BISHOP Good morning Eddie.
EDDIE MAGUIRE Julie, thanks for taking the time. I know it is 5 o’clock in the morning in Manila. Can you just give us a bit of thought from the highest levels of the Australian Government? Our response to what has been happening in France, and particularly to the French President François Hollande, who has come out and said he has vowed to destroy ISIS, or Da’esh as you call it. What does that mean for us here in Australia?
JULIE BISHOP Well Eddie, first the Australian Government has condemned unreservedly these horrific terrorist attacks in central Paris that killed at least 129 people and have injured more than 350. The full horror of the senseless murders in Paris is being made more clear each day as we see the impact on the families of those who were killed and names are being released of those killed, the families and friends talking about their loss and struggling to understand the full horror of this. It is impossible to find logic in an ideology that inspired these cowardly attacks against unarmed civilians and using military weapons to kill defenceless people. So we are working as part of a significant international Coalition to destroy this terrorist organisation, to defeat its leadership, to disrupt its infrastructure and its leadership structure.
As you mentioned, President Hollande has made a very powerful speech to a joint sitting of the French Parliament, declaring that France is at war, that terrorism would not destroy the Republic, the Republic would destroy terrorism. He has extended the state of emergency for three months in France.
Importantly, at the G20 in Turkey, where Prime Minister Turnbull has been for the last few days, US President Obama and Russian President Putin have met to discuss the response and they are talking about forming a single coalition to focus on the terrorist organisation Da’esh. This is very good news so that there can be a united front, an international front against terrorism. Of course, the military option is not the only solution, there also needs to be a political solution in Syria, a ceasefire, a transitional government so that all efforts can be focussed on the terrorists.
In France, there have been counter terrorism raids at about 168 locations, they’ve seized weapons and made numerous arrests. And so we anticipate there will likely be repeat attacks but we are working with our international partners, most certainly at home, to ensure that our law enforcement, security and intelligence agencies have all the resources and powers and laws that they need to foil any attack here in Australia.
LUKE DARCY The united Coalition Julie with Russia and America come together seems like a pretty powerful solution, as you said, alongside everything else and what I think the positive upshoots in this, are the individual stories of bravery Julie. Can you tell us a bit more about the young Tasmanian girl who was shot and wounded and I understand is making a pretty good recovery as we speak?
JULIE BISHOP Yes, Emma Parkinson was shot during the attack on the concert hall. I spoke to her, she was recovering from surgery when I spoke to her the other evening. Clearly her physical wounds will heal long before the psychological wounds heal. She’s been through a terrible ordeal. She was at the concert. The gunmen started firing, she hit the floor, there were people on top of her and she then, after a period of time, she then sought to escape over a barricade and she was struck. Fortunately, she will recover fully. Her family are now with her in Paris and our consular and our embassy staff have been providing whatever support they can. So she is one of the fortunate ones.
There are so many people who were killed, so many families and friends affected by this, but there is still a sense of intense unease. I understand from our Ambassador in Paris the scenes of panic in Paris, false alarms for example, reveal the shattered nerves and the mental scars that can be inflicted by these terrorist attacks. But nevertheless the French President has shown great resilience and courage and resolve to ensure that these terrorist attacks can be foiled and, as I said, the French authorities have foiled numerous attacks in the past and will continue to do so.
We are continuing to share information, share experiences, share intelligence to ensure that Australia is as prepared as we can be to continue to foil attacks in this country, as we have done in the past, and we will continue to ensure that our agencies, our authorities have the appropriate level of resourcing and support to carry out their work.
EDDIE MAGUIRE Triple M’s Hot Breakfast speaking to the Foreign Minister live from Manila. Julie I know you’ve got to go and we appreciate you giving us the time this morning. I’m going to ask you a question, it is a hard one, and it’s not one from ‘shock jock 101’ but can you give us a snapshot, what is it that this ISIS or Da’esh, what is it that they are trying to achieve, what is their end game because we get caught up in all this stuff sometimes and we sometimes get confused as to what they are trying to achieve and I suppose how does that impact on our Australian way of life?
JULIE BISHOP They are seeking to destroy any people, any nations, that don’t share their perverted view of the world. They are an abomination. They say they are acting in the name of a religion but they are blaspheming that religion. Everything that they do is just senseless, cold blooded murder, atrocious attacks that they purportedly do in the name of Islam but in fact it is an abomination.
The leaders of huge Muslim communities such as President Widodo in Indonesia, the Turkish leaders, the leaders of some of the countries in the Middle East are absolutely condemning the senseless murders carried out by these brutal cold-blooded terrorists.
What we must do is ensure that it doesn’t affect our way of life, our values. These people oppose freedom, they oppose choice, they oppose democracy, they are trying to impose their sick view of the world and we must resist at every turn and uphold our values, be prepared to stand up for our values and our way of life and that’s what we are seeking to do by being part of the international effort underway to end the conflict in Syria and Iraq - to deprive Da’esh of an operating base from which it can launch attacks.
EDDIE MAGUIRE Julie you couldn’t have put it any better. Thank you very much for taking the time to speak to the Triple M family this morning and good luck to you and everyone involved in this terrible situation that manifested itself on Friday in Paris.
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