Australian Prime Minister Radio interview – Triple M Sydney

Prime Minister

: On the line right now, Prime Minister, thanks for joining us on the show. We know how busy you will be today. In troubled times like these, we as a nation turn our eyes to our leadership. And can I give you this opportunity to address our listeners, our audience, the people of Sydney and New South Wales. What is it that, what is the messaging? What is it that you would like to say to everyone out there doing it tough today?

ANTHONY ALBANESE, PRIME MINISTER: Well, all Australians will be doing it tough today. This was a tragedy which was certainly not foreseen. All of us know what it’s like to do shopping on a Saturday afternoon. And there at Westfield, at Bondi Junction, it’s such a big shopping centre. You spoke about a mate going to the movies. I’ve been to the movies there. I’ve done shopping there. And the fact that six people have lost their lives. Victims, another victim has been identified this morning, Yixuan Chen. She was a Chinese national studying here who’s lost her life, along with the Ashlee Good, Dawn Singleton, Jade Young, Pikria Darchia and the security guard who lost his life, a refugee who’d only been here for a short period of time. For us to hear, this is just tragic, it is a time for us to come together, to hold close those loved ones that we have, for us to express our condolences for those who’ve lost loved ones, to express our hope and prayers for those people who are still receiving support in hospital. There’s still five people remain in intensive care units around Sydney, one of whom is still in a critical condition. But it’s also time for us to give thanks to the remarkable bravery that we saw on the weekend. Not the least of which, of course, is police inspector Amy Scott, who ran towards danger and took this guy out and no doubt saved lives in doing so.

MOLLOY: Absolutely true. You learn a lot about people when they’re under pressure. And she stepped up to the plate, who covered herself and the police force in a lot of glory. We’re sometimes quick to criticise but on this occasion, thankfully, she was there on the spot. And as you rightfully point out, who knows how that could have escalated even further, if not for her. You must also be proud of the first responders and indeed the health system as it stands, as for its immediate and swift response. I believe up to 75 paramedics and doctors were on the site in quick fashion. And once again, as I said, we learn about people under pressure. But the first responders, in this instance, have done themselves and their community proud.

PRIME MINISTER: They sure did, MG. It was quite remarkable that in a very short period of time. Police and emergency responders were there on site, running towards danger. Ambulance people, medical professionals headed to the site as well. The work of the New South Wales Police in very quickly liaising as well with the Australian Federal Police and our national security agencies, so that we got information out there in a very timely manner, given the circumstances, to counteract some of the misinformation that was out there on social media and some of the mainstream media it must be said as well. Just to indicate that the single perpetrator had been taken down, that there wasn’t an ongoing risk, was really important in calming the public. But the ongoing mental health support, I was there in Bondi Junction yesterday to lay flowers, along with other leaders, including Chris Minns, and you had people walking around with little vests on, indicating they were there to provide mental health support for people. And that’s so important that people feel as though they can reach out. These are tough times. And, you know, people were shocked and remained shocked. And I spoke with the loved ones of some of the victims yesterday and it is such a shocking incident and my heart goes out to them, as do, I’m sure, the feelings of all of your listeners and all Australians today.

MOLLOY: Well, we saw it. Well said. We saw you laying a wreath yesterday with Chris Minns. The flags are at half-mast. It’s a time to reflect in the state, in Sydney. Thank you for your time today. Is there something you’d like to say on the way out to our audience?

PRIME MINISTER: Just, I think today’s a day where people will hug their loved ones a little bit tighter. And just to show we’re a society that sticks together at times like this. Australians, will stick together.

MOLLOY: Thanks for your time today, Prime Minister.

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