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Transcript 19243

Transcript of Statement on Boston Marathon Attacks

Photo of Gillard, Julia

Gillard, Julia

Period of Service: 24/06/2010 to 27/06/2013

More information about Gillard, Julia on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 16/04/2013

Release Type: Video Transcript

Transcript ID: 19243

Canberra

PM: Australians have woken this morning to shocking and tragic scenes from the Boston Marathon.

The Boston Marathon is known around the world, indeed many Australians aspire during the course of their life to go and run the Boston Marathon.

Australia unreservedly condemns this brutal and senseless attack on what is a great event known around the world and one people participate in to have fun as their families and friends watch on.

The images we've seen have been truly shocking ones and our thoughts today are with those who have lost loved ones.

Our condolences go to those who have lost family and friends in this tragic event.

And our thoughts are also with the many injured.

We are also thinking too of all of those who are responding to this emergency - all of the emergency personnel who are being deployed to provide comfort to the bereaved and to tend to the injured.

There is much work for them to do and our thoughts are with them as they do that work.

As President Obama said this morning, we do not know who did this or why.

And it's likely to be a little while before the facts become clearer.

Obviously there are Australians who go to Boston to run the race, and Australians who go and watch, and Australians who live and work in Boston in any event and are there.

We have been addressing their safety as our paramount concern at this time.

At this stage we are not aware of any Australian victims, so we do not have any evidence before us at the moment that any Australians have been hurt in this incident.

Our Consulate-General in New York is continuing its inquiries, and the Department of Foreign Affairs will be providing updates as it can.

I've been briefed this morning by senior officials on circumstances generally in Boston and also the circumstances of Australians.

My message to Australians at this time is if they've got any concerns about the welfare of family or friends who are in Boston, to endeavour to contact them personally first.

If they are unable to do so, then they should call the 24 hour Consular Emergency Centre on 1300 555 135.

At this stage the Government has no information warranting any change in the terrorism alert level in our country, in Australia.

The terrorism alert level remains at medium, where it has been since 2001.

What that means is that a terrorist attack could occur, but I want to stress we have not upgraded warnings and warnings have been at medium since 2001.

Our travel advice for the United States has been reissued to reflect today's events, that is to reflect the fact that these senseless attacks have occurred in Boston and to advise people to listen to local authorities.

But overall our level of advice for travel to the United States has not changed.

It remains where it was previously, which is exercise normal safety precautions.

Can I stress that Australians in Boston should follow the instructions of local authorities.

This is obviously a very difficult time with those local authorities, they're very stretched with this emergency so please listen to local authorities.

This has been a shocking morning for many Australians who would be watching the images on their TV screens with a sense of horror.

Our thoughts, our condolences are with those in Boston and we will continue to provide advice as we can about who is responsible for this senseless and very, very cruel attack.

Thank you.

[ENDS]

Transcript 19243