Statement on London Terror Attacks

04 Jun 2017
Prime Minister
International and Trade

PRIME MINISTER: Australians woke this morning to the grim news that London was again in the grip of a terrorist attack.

And again we send our heartfelt sympathy and love to the victims and their families and to the people of Britain.

And to the people of Britain our resolute solidarity, as always, allies in the values we defend for freedom, to find the terrorists, defeating them in the field in the Middle East and at home.

Now we admire and thank the swift and courageous reaction of the first responders in London, the police who swiftly moved to kill the terrorists within eight minutes of the first attack being reported.

We have spoken with our Counter Terrorism Coordinator and to our High Commissioner in London Alexander Downer, who is liaising closely with the British authorities. We have also spoken to the Director General of Security, the Acting Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police, who’s assured me the AFP is liaising closely with its state counterparts who are stepping up security arrangements for public events in the light of this attack and those that have preceded it, including the shocking attack in Manchester.

Now there are many Australians in London, 130,000 Australians live in the UK, and we are aware of many Australians who were in the vicinity of the attack.

At this time we aware of reports of two Australians who have been directly affected by this attack. This afternoon, the Foreign Minister has spoken to the parents of both Australians.

One case has been confirmed and the Australian concerned is in hospital, in the other case we are continuing to making inquiries.

Our officials will continue to provide every assistance they can to Australians affected by this shocking attack and to their families.

Now Australian and British agencies work closely together in the fight against terrorism- none closer in fact- and its right across the full spectrum of our work. These partnerships are enduring and vital to keep our nations safe.

We are working intensively with other countries as well to further develop our national strategy, a global strategy for protecting places of mass gathering.

This attack is yet another cruel example of the new reality with which we live - the ever present threat of murderous Islamist terrorists intent to harm our communities, our way of life and the freedoms we hold dear.

We have to be clear eyed about the risk - it is real, and that is why the terror threat level in Australia is set at probable.

Our security agencies, our police services, our defence forces work night and day to keep us safe. And indeed since September ’14, 2014 when the threat level was raised to probable we had here in Australia arrested 63 people on terrorism charges and frustrated 12 terrorist plots.

But the work is relentless, our agencies are working 24 hours a day, seven days a week and we continue to provide them with a legislative force they need, the laws they need to keep us safe and the resources they need that have the capabilities to do so.

We will never, ever bow to terrorism.

We will continue, as will the people of Britain to lead our lives the way we always have.

We defy the terrorists, in the field we find them, we destroy them we kill them.

At home our agencies disrupt their plots, uncover their networks, bring them to meet their just deserts in the courts and lock them up where they can no longer do us harm.

FOREIGN MINISTER: The Australian Government has updated our travel advice and Australians are asked to continue to avoid the London Bridge area and to follow the directions and advice of local authorities.

I urge any Australians in London or those who are thinking of traveling to London to continue to monitor our smartraveller website, which will be updated as information comes to hand.

If you have loved ones or family and friends in London and you've not been able to contact them, please call our consular hotline on 1300 555 135. And if you are calling from overseas, it's +61 262 613 305 and our consular officials will do their best to provide whatever assistance we can.