THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP
DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
MEMBER FOR SYDNEY
ABC NEWS BREAKFAST
WEDNESDAY, 25 MARCH 2015
SUBJECT: Germanwings plane crash.
MICHAEL ROWLAND: What was your reaction when you first heard this news?
TANYA PLIBERSEK, DEPUTY OPPOSITION LEADER: Of course it's always shocking to hear about so many fatalities after a plane crash. And the disturbing parts, in particular: the two Australians on board and the group of schoolchildren. I think a lot of parents will be imagining themselves in that position sending their kids off for a school trip and hearing news like this would be absolutely devastating.
ROWLAND: And what should the priority be of Australian consular officials at this moment as the search and recovery operation continues?
PLIBERSEK: Well, of course, we've been advised that there will be an Australian consular official on the ground there. If there's any assistance Australia can give in helping with the investigation of the causes of the crash, that's obviously a role that Australia should play.
ROWLAND: It's hard to sum up just the impact these continued air crashes have. It's been a very bad run, as we all know, for air crashes generally but of course Australians in those air crashes in the last 12 months, it's yet more bad news for the nation to grapple with?
PLIBERSEK: It's very, I think - affects people's confidence certainly when there's a series of planes going missing and crashes like this over the last year or so. But, yes I mean on the other hand so many people fly every day quite safely that we can get a slightly skewed view of the risks of plane travel.
ROWLAND: That's right and that's been the point exactly made by the aviation experts we've spoken to. Thousands of flights in the air at any given time. In fact last year, despite the Malaysian Airlines crashes were said to be the safest year for aviation ever.
PLIBERSEK: It's extraordinary because we do focus on the one-off. The reason that these things are so news worthy is because they're so rare but it doesn't change the way that people feel about plane travel and today in particular with these two Australians on board, a very sad day.
ROWLAND: There is a family, as you said, somewhere in Victoria deep in mourning this morning. What words have you got for them this morning?
PLIBERSEK: Well, I think all Australians would be mourning with them. Two people, you send two people off at a happy time on a holiday and expect them to come home safe with stories of their adventures and to lose them in this way is so senseless and so tragic.
ROWLAND: It is deeply shocking. Tanya Plibersek in Canberra, thank you very much for your time.
PLIBERSEK: Thank you, Michael.