Saturday, 16 April 2005
The NSW Police are being overstretched in reacting to an organised series of bomb hoaxes, the Prime Minister said today. In order to relieve the pressure, Australia is following New Zealand's lead and ordering that certain public buildings be temporarily closed.
Churches will only be open on Sunday, Synagogues on Saturday, and Mosques on Friday.
The Prime Minister foreshadowed a series of "rolling closures" of public buildings on a pre-published schedule, starting next week if the campaign continued.
"Having your local Post Office open only 2 to 3 days a week will cause some vexation, and even hardship" he said "but if it means there's less disruption to essential services and transport, inconvenience to the general public will be minimised".
He also added that "Every time a hoax call is made, we learn just a little bit more about the people making them.". He called upon the general public to give their full co-operation in tracking down those guilty of causing "what appears to be a deliberate and well-planned strategic campaign of disruption."
Asked whether he had considered giving in to the Al Qaeda demands, he stated "He who pays Danegeld is never free of the Dane. Should we make any concession this time, there's nothing to stop White Supremacists from using the same methods to pressure us into instituting Apartheid, Radical Fringe Fundamentalist Christians from insisting we ban all non-Christian places of worship, or deranged Moonbats from campaigning to make skull trepanning compulsory. Alter Australia's policy by one iota? A complete nonsense. If it wasn't for the fact that the Iraqis themselves are doing so well they don't need more of our help, the immediate emotional reaction of most Australians would be to send more troops as the result of this, not fewer. They obviously have no idea the kind of people they're dealing with.
That's the long answer. The short one is No."