Australian Prime Minister Press conference – Parliament House, Canberra

Prime Minister

I’m joined by the AFP Commissioner, Kershaw and the Director General of ASIO here this morning. Last night a 16 year old who has been apprehended was accused of stabbing a bishop at Christ the Good Shepherd Church in Wakeley. This is a disturbing incident. There is no place for violence in our community. There is no place for violent extremism. We are a peace loving nation. This is a time to unite, not divide as a community and as a country. Last night the NSW Police overnight declared this a terror incident and have stood up Strike Force Petrina. As a result of that declaration, a joint counter terrorism task force has been established which includes the AFP and ASIO. And this morning we have had a meeting of the National Security Committee to receive formal briefings, following informal briefings that occurred earlier this morning. Can I say that we understand the distress and concerns that are there in the community, particularly after the tragic event at Bondi Junction on Saturday. But it is not acceptable to impede and injure police doing their duty or to damage police vehicles in a way that we saw last night. People should not take the law into their own hands, but should allow our police and our security agencies to do their job. My job as Prime Minister is to give them that support and I will continue to do so. And I’ve asked for the NSC to be convened this morning, and I now ask Commissioner Kershaw to comment.


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