Monday, 11 April 2005

ST05 : Press Conference

Transcript Follows:

PM : I'm ready to take questions.
Q : Prime Minister, are you prepared to categorically state that the explosions were a Terrorist Attack?
PM : To state the obvious, yes I am.

Q : Were they suicide bombs?
PM : Two of the three weren't. The first bomb may have been, the NSW and Australian Federal Police are looking into that. I've instructed the AFP to put their entire Forensic resources at the disposal of the NSW police.

Q : Have you been guilty of Panic and Over-reaction?
PM : Have you been guilty of asking stupid questions? Next question, from a grown-up this time.

Q : Millions of Sydney Commuters are struggling to get home from work. It's a complete shambles. What do you have to say to them?
PM : I'll leave that one to the premier of NSW. He advised me that a state of emergency was required, and I took his advice. But let me say this, I take full responsibility for it, and even with hindsight, wouldn't have changed my decision. I've been informed that as soon as the trains in the depots have been checked, normal services will be resumed. I expect some special services will be running within a few hours, to relieve the congestion. Oh yes, the information I have for commuters using the rail system in Sydney is about 300,000, not "millions".

Q : Have you...
PM : Sorry to interrupt, one more thing. The carrying on CityRail trains or busses of any hand luggage larger than a briefcase will be prohibited for the time being. Please continue with the question.

Q : Have you contacted the President?
PM : You mean the Governor-General? <laughter> If you mean, "have we invoked article 5 of the ANZUS treaty", the answer is "not yet". We may request some technical assistance, but that's an operational matter being dealt with through the usual channels.
I have personally thanked President Simoni of the Indonesian Republic for his gracious offer of aid, and assistance from that quarter will again be dealt with through the usual channels.
Once this press conference is over, I will be talking with Prime Minister Dodge, and others. I'm not willing to discuss the agenda just yet. Last question, please.

Q : Can you confirm that the Pondglo Mosque has been raided by Federal Police? Haven't you over-reacted?
PM : That would be an operational matter, which I won't discuss here or at any other time. Look, we've had three explosions so far. I don't know how many others we may have prevented by "over-reaction" as you put it. I can't guarantee there won't be more, we don't have unlimited resources. I do, however, intend to "Over-React" these evil bastards into the ground, and as soon as possible, given the resources to hand, so we can get back to normal. That's my job, the one I was elected to do. So if you'll excuse me Ladies and Gentleman, I'll now go do it.

Rattled PM : More Attacks On Their way
A visibly rattled PM lashed out at the Press today, being forced to admit that he "can't guarantee" there won't be more explosions.
<more to follow>.......

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