Topics:  Terror incident at West Sydney church; Iran attack on Israel;

07:50AM AEST
16 April 2024



Pete Stefanovic:  Let’s go to our Shadow Foreign Affairs Minister, Simon Birmingham. Simon, appreciate your time. So, look again, we’re dealing with another stabbing attack in Sydney. Just your thoughts on this happening again.


Simon Birmingham: Morning, Pete. Pete, this is an appalling incident, and it comes at a terrible and shocking time for people across Sydney and across Australia. It’s important that communities come together rather than tear apart at a time like this. It’s crucial that respect be shown for police and law enforcement agencies and for the proper processes that occur. We’ve seen heroic responses by police to the Bondi incident. They deserve the respect to be able to manage difficult crowds and incidents, such as what occurred last night as well. Of course, all need to show a degree of calm in response to the type of violence that has been seen to ensure that they are also rallying around one another and explaining situations carefully to children, minors and others. There’s also a lot of very shocking footage from both incidents that’s available online, and I’d encourage people to make sure they’re very careful about how that is viewed and if viewed, then how it is carefully discussed within their household.


Pete Stefanovic: That’s true. Good point. A brutal attack. This is quite a subject change here. But now to Iran and Israel. Simon, what sort of a response, if any, do you think will be coming from Israel?


Simon Birmingham: Well, the world needs to make response to Iran’s aggression. The attack of enormous scale from Iran into Israel that may not have been successful but was quite unprecedented in its scale and the direct approach from the Iranian government in an assault on Israel. And it’s understandable that Israel expects Iran to pay a price for that, and not just for that, but Iran is the sponsor of Hamas and their terrorist atrocities from October 7th last year, and they continue to sponsor other terrorist operations, be it Hezbollah’s attacks against Israel on its northern border or the Houthi rebel’s attacks and disruption to global trade, and also targeting of anything with Israeli interests in the Red Sea. So, Iran is at the centre and the apex of the attacks against Israel. Obviously, nobody wishes to see this situation escalate into a wider conflict. But, countries including Australia should be looking at how stronger action can be taken against Iran, including the listing of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organisation and a tightening, wherever possible, of economic and other sanctions against Iran.


Pete Stefanovic: That’s Simon Birmingham, the Shadow Foreign Minister. Simon, we’ll have to leave it there. Appreciate your time this morning, though. We’ll talk to you again soon.