Prime Minister of Australia

04/13/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 04/13/2024 22:09

Radio interview - 2GB

BEN FORDHAM, HOST: Prime Minister, I wanted to give you the chance to share your thoughts with everyone because I'm sure, like everyone else in Sydney and around Australia, you're heartbroken about what's happened this afternoon.

ANTHONY ALBANESE, PRIME MINISTER: Look, this is just extraordinarily heartbreaking for Australians. Australians will be shocked, as I am, by an incident such as this in our peace-loving country. Westfield Bondi Junction will be familiar to many Sydneysiders. And the fact that this news came through, very quickly, really, while it was still happening, is of great shock. And I do want to pay tribute to the brave police, not least of which is this Inspector who, she attended the scene by herself and took this guy out, which obviously saved further lives. And her bravery and the bravery of others, people will have seen some of the footage of one gentleman grabbing a bollard to stop the assailant getting up the escalator onto the next level at Westfield there. An extraordinarily brave thing to do. And to all of the first responders, this is a reminder, at a time of crisis like this, police and first responders rush to danger, not from it, and we should give thanks to them each and every day.

FORDHAM: It's quite incredible, isn't it PM, when you see members of the public deciding, all right, well, there's danger coming, but there are families and children in the way and I'm going to stand in between the danger and those other people. I mean, we take it as a given that our police officers and our other first responders are always going to be there and put themselves on the line. It's most impressive, isn't it, to see normal members of the public who've decided to do the same this afternoon.

PRIME MINISTER: Completely extraordinary behaviour, and these people need to be identified and thanked. They are heroes. And the first thoughts of all Australians at this time will be with those who've been directly impacted and their loved ones. There's five victims have been confirmed as losing their life today and many others injured. And at this time as well, it's time to give thanks to those who'll be caring for them in hospital. And we just wish a recovery for, there's been too much loss of life already, and we just hope that those people who've been injured come through.

FORDHAM: I think you sum up the feelings of a whole nation. PM, we appreciate you jumping on the line at short notice.

PRIME MINISTER: Thanks very much, Ben. And just for people out there - at a time when something like this happens, you hug your loved ones. It's such a shock that this happens in a country such as ours, where people should be able to go about their shopping on a Saturday afternoon without any thought that there's any risk involved. And that is why I think this will come as such a shock, and we will need, as different levels of government, but as a community as well, to make sure that we reach out and give support to those people who were there on the scene at the time, and make sure they get support for mental health and make sure that they recover as well. An incident such as this can have a very broad impact indeed.

FORDHAM: No doubt about it. We're only just starting to realise the extent of it. Thanks so much, PM.

PRIME MINISTER: Thanks, Ben.