Australian Prime Minister Radio Interview – 2DayFM

Prime Minister

Welcome back, Prime Minister.

ANTHONY ALBANESE, PRIME MINISTER: Good to be with you, but sorry about the circumstances. It’s a very difficult morning for all Australians, but I think particularly for people in Sydney.

DAVE HUGHES, HOST: Where were you when you found out about the incident?

PRIME MINISTER: I was on my way travelling to Canberra and the information was, of course, coming out. I was with, as I always am, with AFP personnel, and they received notification that there was an incident underway. At that stage, of course, it was unclear what was happening, how many perpetrators there were and what the nature of the event was. I then received a full briefing from the AFP Commissioner Kershaw and spoke with the security agencies, including the ASIO Director General. And then I ended up doing a media statement with Commissioner Kershaw on Saturday evening from Parliament House. It’s an extraordinarily difficult time for people. I know that hearts are broken. I spoke with some of the relatives who’ve been directly affected by this tragic loss of life.

ERIN MOLAN, HOST: Prime Minister, how does it feel for you? Because, I mean, people who didn’t know anyone personally feel physically ill at what happened. Do you feel a certain, I guess as our Prime Minister, your job to keep us safe, do you feel a certain, more deeper sense of tragedy?

PRIME MINISTER: I don’t think there’s hierarchies here, I think everyone will feel tough today. Because we all know, all of us have gone shopping on a Saturday afternoon. And if you live in Sydney, many people will have been to Westfield there at Bondi Junction. So the idea of this attack, we know that there would have been thousands of people there and we can go through the just senselessness of this attack. I feel a responsibility to have a considered response, to be reassuring for the public on Saturday night. To ensure as well that at a time where there was a lot of misinformation flowing around, including on social media, but some in some mainstream media as well, to just find out as much information as possible and to then be transparent and inform the public of that information. I think the NSW Police in particular, but also our security agencies and the AFP, did a remarkable job, in a timely fashion, of making it clear that there was one perpetrator, making it clear that this wasn’t an ongoing event when the police inspector, Amy Scott took out the perpetrator.

HUGHES: Can we just talk about her for a second, Prime Minister? Police Inspector Amy Scott and the heroic act that she performed by running towards danger on her own. Have you reached out to her, or will you reach out to her personally?

PRIME MINISTER: What a hero she is. I haven’t yesterday, I spoke with the NSW Police leadership yesterday when I was in Bondi Junction and certainly passed on. But I look forward to having a conversation with her. She is a hero, as are some ordinary Australians who did extraordinary acts as well. Ran towards danger and engaged in protecting their fellow Australians. Out of this tragedy once again we saw at the worst of times, the best of the Australian character. That courage and bravery. That was incredible. And this is just an awful, horrific incident. We will have flags flying at half-mast around the country today to pay tribute and honour the victims of this senseless act of violence.

MOLAN: Prime Minister, I know a lot of women feel the way I do today, and you look at where women can be safe and what’s happening in this country and around the world. It’s certainly not just here in Australia, but we can’t run early in the morning, we can’t run late at night. It’s dangerous in our own homes. It’s dangerous, now shopping centres, which was a safe space for women. Overall and bigger picture stuff, it’s a huge problem, violence against women.

PRIME MINISTER: It certainly is. And the gender breakdown here is concerning. And NSW Police have said that they’re looking at that as part of the investigation here. Violence is always wrong and violence at this scale is beyond comprehension, I think, for just about all of us, and that’s why it will be really distressing. It is a time for us to mourn. Yesterday I travelled back up to Sydney from Canberra before returning here to lay a floral tribute along there at Bondi Junction. I have no doubt that those floral tributes will grow coming days because Australians will want to show their care and compassion. This isn’t who we are. We are an inclusive society. We’re one where we look after each other and this act has shocked and horrified Australians.

CAVALEE: Prime Minister, thank you for your time this morning.

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