- Publish Date
- Monday, 15 December 2014, 3:15PM
“We don’t yet know the motivation of the perpetrator,” Abbott said, before going on to discuss “politically motivated violence.”
“We have to appreciate that even in a society such as ours, there are people who would wish to do us harm,” he said. “That’s why we have police and security organizations of the utmost professionalism that are ready and able to respond to a whole range of situations and contingencies including this situation that we are now seeing in Sydney.”
“The whole point of politically motivated violence is to scare people out of being themselves,” Abbott told reporters. “Australia is a peaceful, open, and generous society. Nothing should ever change that and that’s why I would urge all Australians today to go about their business as usual.”
“This is a very disturbing incident,” Abbott concluded. “I can understand the concerns and anxieties of the Australian people at a time like this, but our thoughts and prayers must above all go out to the individuals who are caught up in this.”
The Leader of the Opposition Bill Shorten has released a statement on the siege:
Our thoughts and prayers today are with the innocent people involved in this morning’s incident in Martin Place, Sydney.
Our thoughts are also with their families who are seeing this incredibly distressing situation unfold, along with the rest of Australia.
I have full confidence in the skill and professionalism of our police and security agencies.
I have spoken to Prime Minister Tony Abbott this morning and offered him the Opposition’s full support at this time.
Australians can be assured that we are one when it comes to keeping Australians safe.