PM Transcripts

Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 40975

Interview with Tracy Grimshaw, A Current Affair

Photo of Turnbull, Malcolm

Turnbull, Malcolm

Period of Service: 15/09/2015 to 24/08/2018

More information about Turnbull, Malcolm on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 23/05/2017

Release Type: Transcript

Transcript ID: 40975

Subject(s): Manchester attack

TRACY GRIMSHAW:

I spoke with Prime Minister Turnbull a short time ago. Prime Minister thank you very much for your time on a terrible night. We are all bracing ourselves to hear confirmation of the ages of the victims of this awful attack. Judging by your speech today I get the sense that you are feeling the same dread about that.

PRIME MINISTER:

This was a vile, reprehensible attack on innocence.

This was an attack on teenagers. Unimaginably cruel.
 TRACY GRIMSHAW:

At this stage it is thought that this was one suicide bomber. How can we protect ourselves from one madman in a crowd of 21,000. How can we as a nation, learn security lessons from this?

PRIME MINISTER:

We are constantly working to keep Australians safe, Tracy. Since 2014, our intelligence and security agencies have thwarted 12 terrorist plots.

I asked the Australia-New Zealand Counter-Terrorism Committee, which brings together my federal agencies and all of the states and territories and New Zealand, to work together on a new, upgraded plan to defend places of mass gathering. That is nearly complete.

But I want to say this; above all, our prayers, our sympathy – our heartfelt sympathy -  goes out to the victims, to their families, to the people of Britain facing this attack. And above all, our resolute solidarity.

We stand with the people of Britain. We stand with Britain as we always have, defying terrorism.

TRACY GRIMSHAW:

In terms of protecting ourselves though, on a sort of, on a real basis, are we looking at having metal detectors at the entrances to all big sporting events? To all big concert events for example? I mean this was one man, it would appear, with a nail bomb. Is that what we’re going to have to do to protect ourselves?

PRIME MINISTER:

I was discussing this today with my counter-terrorism coordinator, with the Director-General of ASIO, and just a moment ago with the Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police. These are constantly under review Tracy. They will assess each event, in the light of the risk assessment that is appropriate. It’s a very dynamic environment. We have to constantly monitor the intelligence and constantly adjust the levels of protection in the light of what we’re seeing as patterns developing both here and overseas.

TRACY GRIMSHAW:

We have a military commitment to the war against terror in the Middle East. But if one suicide bomber can cause this carnage at a random event, can we ever win the war against terror?

PRIME MINISTER:

We will win the war against terror. We will crush the terrorists, we will destroy them in the field. We will destroy their co-called caliphate in the field, which they have used as a recruiting method. We will defeat them at home and abroad.

I want to remind you that since September 2014, we have arrested, here in Australia, 63 people on terrorism offences including a person today, as you may be aware, another person today. We have thwarted 12 plots, there have been four terrorist incidents that have occurred during that period. So the protection that our agencies give is substantial but it cannot be 100 per cent, there is no guarantee that a terrorist event cannot occur.

But I have to say to you that we have the best intelligence, security and police agencies in the world. They are constantly working to keep us safe. That’s my job, as Prime Minister, to make sure that we keep Australians safe and we have the best men and women on the front line, the best professionals keeping us secure.

TRACY GRIMSHAW:

Okay, thanks Prime Minister. Thanks for your time.

PRIME MINISTER:

Thank you.

[ENDS]

Transcript 40975