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Adelaide 8 January 2015. The Prime Minister Tony Abbott conducted a press conference in Adelaide this morning in which he talked about the attacks in Paris and local South Australian issues.

Here is the transcript.

Subjects: Paris terror attack; Daesh death cult; visit to South Australian bushfire zone; assistance for people affected by Sampson Flat bushfire; future submarines project.

We’re lucky enough now to have the Prime Minister Tony Abbott on the line. Good morning, Prime Minister.


Good morning, and look, it’s a sad morning in two respects. Obviously, here in South Australia, people are still dealing with the effect of the devastating bushfires and, obviously, there’s shocking news from Paris overnight. This is yet another terrorist atrocity and it demonstrates the extent to which the ISIL – or Daesh as they call it in the Middle East – the Daesh death cult has declared war on the whole world.


Prime Minister, you’ve just come back from the Middle East and so you’ve experienced and seen and been updated on the activities of ISIS. Now, before we get onto that, just your impressions of the audacity and the atrocity that’s happened in Paris I guess coming so close on the doorstep of Australia’s whether you call it a brush with terror, but certainly a horrific event? As a Prime Minister, I guess you can really empathise with your counterparts – your counterpart in Paris first up and elsewhere around the world – that this just does heighten the level of alert?


Well, the sad truth is that there are people who hate us. They hate us not because of what we’ve done, but because of who we are and the way we live. There are people who think that free, pluralist, easy-going societies such as ours and such as other Western societies are some kind of a satanic expression. These people, they are in love with death, as was demonstrated by the Martin Place siege in Sydney. They’re heedless of their own lives, they’re merciless about the lives of others and this is the predicament we find ourselves in.

Now, in this sort of predicament, we have to strengthen our security services, we have to work with our partners and allies overseas, but at the same time we need to live our lives in as normal a way as we can, because the whole point of these terrorists is to scare us from being ourselves. What we can never do is to sacrifice our values in order to defend them.


Prime Minister, it’s obviously been very troubling times overnight in France and back here in South Australia it’s been an extremely difficult time for the dozens of families that have lost their homes. You’re obviously on your way out to the bushfire affected areas. Are you looking at something to be able to assist these people that have been directly affected?


Well as you probably know, on the weekend the natural disaster relief and recovery arrangements were activated. These are joint Commonwealth-state arrangements and under these arrangements the Commonwealth pays roughly 50 per cent of the cost of assisting people who are impacted by natural disaster and we pay about 50 per cent of the costs of restoring infrastructure which is damaged or destroyed by the disaster.

Today I’m going to announce that we will be making the Disaster Recovery Payment and the Disaster Recovery Allowance available to the victims of the bushfire here in South Australia. These are Centrelink payments – $1,000 per adult and $400 per child – for people whose houses have been destroyed or whose houses have been badly damaged and the Disaster Recovery Allowance is a 13 week Centrelink payment for people whose income has been severely affected by this disaster. So, this is modest additional Commonwealth assistance that will be made available for victims of these terrible fires here in South Australia.


Prime Minister, I assume from that that the compensation for people who have lost income, for instance if you’re a volunteer and you’ve lost income it doesn’t apply to you, it’s just for victims of the fire?


It is for the victims of the fire. Now, as a volunteer bushfire fighter myself in New South Wales, I know that volunteer bushfire fighters make sacrifices, but it’s something which, I guess, goes with the role and certainly never something which has deterred people from doing what they need to do to help their fellow Australian at a time of need.


So, Prime Minister, that will be announced today. Just while we’ve got you, very quickly, is there any news for South Australia in terms of submarine building?


Well, whatever decision we ultimately make in terms of the design and build, there is going to be more work and more jobs for South Australia, because as you know, we intend to have a significantly larger submarine fleet in the future. The Australian work on that will be done largely here in Adelaide and the sustainment will be done here in Adelaide. So, whichever way it ends up [inaudible] out, this is going to be good for jobs in South Australia and given the expansion of the Olympic Dam mine, which BHP announced a few months back, I think people in South Australia should be very confident about their future.


But no decision on where the submarines will be built?


Not as yet. This is a very important decision.


When will that be, Prime Minister, do you think?


We intend to be making further announcements in coming months, but it’s important to get this right. We need the best possible submarines and we obviously need them at a competitive price and these are the questions that the Government’s continuing to weigh in the weeks and months ahead.


Prime Minister, thanks so much for joining us here on the FIVEaa Breaskfast Show this morning.


Thank you so much.



Today the Commonwealth Government announced that both the Disaster Recovery Payment and the Disaster Recovery Allowance will be provided to eligible residents affected by the Sampson Flat Bushfire in the Mount Lofty Ranges region of South Australia.

This is a difficult time for those affected by the bushfire, which has had a devastating impact on local communities.

We also thank our remarkable fire fighters and rescue crews who, through their dedication and selflessness, have ensured that there has been no loss of life.

The Commonwealth Government assistance announced today is over and above the support already being provided under the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements, which were announced on Sunday.

People eligible for the Disaster Recovery Payment – those who have lost their homes or suffered injury as a result of the disaster – can access a one-off payment of $1000 per adult and $400 for each child.

People eligible for the Disaster Recovery Allowance can access income assistance for up to 13 weeks, equivalent to the maximum rate of Newstart Allowance or Youth Allowance. This assistance is designed to help employees, primary producers and sole traders recovering from the Sampson Flat bushfire to get back on their feet.

The Government recognises the importance of maintaining the workforce in the disaster affected area and supporting longer term local and regional economic and community recovery.

Claims can be made online at or by calling the Commonwealth Government Information Hotline on 180 22 66 from 8am to 5pm local time, Monday to Friday.

Completed claim forms can also be lodged in person at a Commonwealth Government Department of Human Services service centre.

Further information on Commonwealth Government assistance is available online at

The thoughts of all Australians are with those who have been affected by the Sampson Flat fire.

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