JULIE BISHOP: The Australian Government is aware that early this morning a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Solomon Islands. I was in the Solomon Islands this week and I’m, of course, deeply concerned at the impact of this natural disaster on the people of Solomon Islands. The Australian High Commission is working closely with local authorities to determine the extent of any damage and to see if any persons have been affected by this natural disaster. Any Australians who are concerned about friends or family in Solomon Islands should seek to contact them. If they are unable to do so, they should seek to use our emergency consular number 1300 555 135. The Australian Government stands ready to work with the Government of Solomon Islands to provide any assistance that they may need in responding to this disaster.

JOURNALIST: The Government’s own Chief Scientist says they are not on track to meet the Paris climate targets because of a policy vacuum. Are you confident that we can still meet those targets without a long term policy?

JULIE BISHOP: Australia has a history of meeting, indeed beating our targets. We met and exceeded the Kyoto target, we are meeting and on track to exceeding the target for 2020, and I’m confident that the targets we set pursuant to the Paris Agreement of the 26 to 28 per cent reduction on the 2005 baseline will be met under our current policy settings by 2030. Of course we continue to monitor progress along the way, but we have a history of meeting, indeed beating the targets we set.

JOURNALIST: Back to the Solomon Islands, what sort of support do you have ready to give?

JULIE BISHOP: The Australian Government has in place pre-positioned supplies for shelter, water, sanitation, food. If they are required we can work with the local authorities and with the Government of Solomon Islands to provide them, but of course as a close friend and partner and neighbour of Solomon Islands, we stand ready to provide whatever support the Government of Solomon Islands may request.

JOURNALIST: (inaudible)…Indonesia has asked Australia to lean on the company PTT to pay compensation for the 2009 Montara oil spill. Are you going to do that?

JULIE BISHOP: I’m not aware of a specific request from the Government of Indonesia, but of course if there is a request Australia would consider it.

JOURNALIST: Thanks Minister.

- Ends -

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