Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has expressed Australia’s solidarity with the UK and emphasised the enduring close historic ties between the two countries in the wake of this week’s terror attack in London, and said the nation’s security forces remained vigilant.
Addressing parliament on Thursday, with Britain’s High Commissioner to Australia Menna Rawlings present, the prime minister said Wednesday’s atrocity in London was “an attack on every democracy, every parliament” in the world.
“Australians should be reassured that our agencies are today, as every day, working relentlessly and tirelessly to keep our people safe,” Mr Turnbull said.
“We are very alert to the vulnerabilities of places of mass gatherings and open spaces and the risk of relatively unsophisticated attacks like that perpetrated in London,” he said.
Earlier on Thursday, Mr Turnbull emphasised the historic bonds between Australia and the UK, saying the two countries were “staunch allies in the war against terrorism”.
“Almost every tradition here in Australia is modelled on that of the Houses of Parliament in London. The birth place of our great, free parliamentary democracy and the rule of law which sustains it,” he told journalists.
“We send our condolences, especially to the families of the victims, those injured, including a police officer murdered by the terrorist as he attempted to enter the Houses of Parliament.”
The prime minister added that Australia and its allies stand defiant in the face of the terrorist threat.
“We will never let them intimidate us or challenge our democratic way of life, or the freedoms for which generations of Australians have served and died to keep secure,” he said.
Three people were killed and around 40 people were injured – including an Australian resident – when a man identified as Khalid Masood drove a car through pedestrians on Westminster Bridge in London on Wednesday before crashing it and running into the grounds of the Houses of Parliament with a knife, fatally stabbing a police officer. mr Masood was shot dead by police. One of the injured victims has since also died.
TOP IMAGE: File image of Malcolm Turnbull in parliament.