Australian Prime Minister Radio interview – WSFM with Jonesy and Amanda

Prime Minister

: Good morning, Prime Minister.

ANTHONY ALBANESE, PRIME MINISTER: Good to be with you, but it’s been a tough few days in Sydney.

BRENDAN JONES, HOST: It’s been terrible.

KELLER: Absolutely it has. What are you feeling?

PRIME MINISTER: Oh, look, this incident is extremely concerning. I do urge people in the community to remain calm and to listen very carefully to police and provide them support. There is no place for violence in our community. There’s no place for violent extremism. We’re a peace-loving nation. This is a time to unite, not to divide as a community, but also as a country. And I certainly understand the distress and concerns which are there, particularly after the tragic event at Bondi. But it is completely not acceptable to impede and injure police doing their duty or to damage police vehicles in the way that occurred last night. NSW Police have declared a terror incident overnight. We have stood up Strike Force Petrina, which is a joint counter terrorism investigation. I was briefed this morning by the AFP and by our security agencies. We’ll have a meeting of the National Security Committee this morning as well here in Canberra. This is a very distressing incident, with the young man who was responsible for this incident is in custody, so there isn’t further danger there. But it is of course, of real concern. And I applaud the leadership of the police and our emergency services once again rushing to the scene to provide that support. And I commend as well Chris Minns, the Premier, who called a meeting of faith leaders last night in order to calm the situation and ensure that the community was working right across the board.

JONES: Well, it’s all about calm heads, isn’t it? And right now, that’s what you and Chris Minns are doing. And with what’s happened in the church is absolutely dreadful. But there just seems to be so many things that are happening at the moment.

KELLER: It was interesting that for the horrendous event at Bondi Junction that one of the first thoughts was terrorism. Then they said, no, there was no ideology, meaning religious ideology. And yet it seems to me there’s this whole swathe now of violence against women. Women were the ones being targeted. Are we doing enough, Prime Minister, to protect women?

PRIME MINISTER: Oh, look, we need to do more. Not just, women should be safe going about their shopping on a Saturday afternoon. They also should of course be safe in their home. And we’ve seen too many incidents of domestic violence as well already this year. It is a tragic statistic that tells a story well beyond just numbers. That a woman loses their life to someone that they know on average once a week in Australia. We need to do more on the scourge of domestic violence. We need to do more about respecting women right across the board.

JONES: But do you think Prime Minister, do you think though, because a lot of, and we hear this a lot, do you think that there’s a point where we say, right okay, we’ve all said that, but there’s countless examples of where people have been called for domestic violence and the police can’t, their hands are tied by the courts or otherwise. The system appears to be broken.

PRIME MINISTER: We need to do whatever we can to unshackle the system where there are impediments to justice and where there are any impediments to ensuring the safety of women in our society. We know that domestic violence has an impact directly, primarily on women, but also on children who witness these events or sometimes can be subject to violent activity themselves. It’s hard to comprehend why this occurs overwhelmingly as a society where one that we can be just so proud of, the society that we’ve created here in Australia. One where we live in peace and harmony, one where our diversity is a strength, one where we respect each other, and that’s a way of us advancing and we need to cherish that at each and every opportunity. But we always need to do more.

KELLER: I think so too.

PRIME MINISTER: And in this case, on Saturday was just beyond belief.

KELLER: Well, I’m sure there’ll be lots of recommendations of how we can be better in the way that we sought out women being at risk like this. And on behalf of all Australians, we implore the government here to please try and keep women, or keep all of us, but particularly women seem to be most vulnerable at the minute.

PRIME MINISTER: Well, we certainly will be undertaking of course, as you would expect, a full examination of what occurred on Saturday. The investigation, of course, is ongoing. A tragic loss of life of six people, of five women and then a refugee working as a security guard at the shopping centre also lost his life.

JONES: Just a dreadful story.

PRIME MINISTER: And the other factor of course, there’s still people in hospital as a result of that attack, and our heart goes out to them and we wish them well. But for the thousands of people who witnessed this terrifying incident as well, their lives will never be the same. And we need to make sure that they get the mental health support that they need at this time.

JONES: And it was demonstrated there’s more good in the community than bad. Prime Minister, thank you so much for joining us. You’ll have to come and check out the new digs. Don’t come and just see Kyle and Jackie O next time. Come and see us.

PRIME MINISTER: The new digs. I look forward to it very much.

JONES: Thank you for joining us.

KELLER: Nice to talk to you, Prime Minister. Thank you.

PRIME MINISTER: Thanks, guys.

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