Interview: Sharri, Sky News




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


SHARRI MARKSON: Let's bring in now the Shadow Defence Minister, Andrew Hastie. Andrew, good to see you again.

ANDREW HASTIE: Good evening, Sharri.

SHARRI MARKSON: Do you think the Labor Government is taking national security seriously enough? Do you think that the terror threat level should be re-examined?

ANDREW HASTIE: The short answer is no. This Labor Government is not taking national security seriously enough. Right now, we need a strong government, and we have a weak government. The best thing that Anthony Albanese could do tonight is restore the Directors-General of ASIO and ASIS to his National Security Committee of Cabinet. He needs those eyes and ears – they are responsible for foreign intelligence & domestic intelligence against all of our threats. They should be there advising him and it's a travesty that they aren't. As for the threat level, that's a decision to be made in that committee and I'm sure the advice given by the Directors-General of ASIS, ASIO, and ONI, would help the Prime Minister make that decision.

SHARRI MARKSON: Nationals Senator, Matt Canavan, spoke to Andrew Bolt earlier and I thought he made this very strong point – have a quick listen.


SHARRI MARKSON: Andrew, what do you think about this proposition that the Prime Minister didn't quite come out strongly enough this morning in defence of Christians and he didn't really at all criticise radical extremism?

ANDREW HASTIE: Sharri, Australia is a young democracy. We're only 123 years old and this is probably our most severe test when it comes to social cohesion. What the Australian people need right now is strong national security leadership, and Anthony Albanese is giving weak national security leadership. He's using weak language; he's using weak values – he's not articulating Australian values – and our community needs strong direction from him. And that means making very clear there's no place for religious extremism in this country. The Christian community, particularly the Assyrian Orthodox community will be feeling it tonight, and that's why Anthony Albanese's words matter and they’re not strong enough at the moment.

SHARRI MARKSON: The alleged perpetrator is 16 years old. How is someone this young being radicalised in Australia?

ANDREW HASTIE: It's terrible, Sharri. It's like we've gone back 10 years to when Curtis Cheng was murdered outside the Parramatta police headquarters in 2015 by a young man – 15 years old – who had been radicalised by ISIS here in this country. There are serious questions that need to be answered about how a 16 year old boy was prepared to get up in the middle of a church service and try to stab to death a bishop. How was he radicalised? Was it online? Was it from religious teachers? Was it part of his community? These questions need to be answered because we cannot afford to have this happen again.

SHARRI MARKSON: And you know what? Those questions need to be not just answered, but it needs to be made public so if there is reform needed, if we do need to start pulling extremist content down from online - if that's how he was radicalised -then this needs to be in the public domain. We weren't getting a lot of answers today from any of those leaders. Andrew, just want to ask you a question on another topic. Iran's Embassy has released a statement relating to the 300 missile and drone strikes unleashed on Israel over the weekend. Tehran said that if Israel retaliates, and there are reports that that's what Israel's planning to do, that Iran's next steps will be more crushing and, quoting now, that they will give another unforgettable lesson to this heinous regime. Andrew, what do you think? Should Israel respond to the attacks on the weekend, given what Iran is threatening here?

ANDREW HASTIE: Sharri, Iran and its three regional proxies – Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Houthis – are all committed to the destruction of the Jewish people and the state of Israel, and so Israel has no choice but to respond. The principle of deterrence must be reestablished, otherwise Iran will do this again. Iran used lethal force against the State of Israel. As I say often, weakness is provocative, and that's why Israel must act. I don't know the particulars of it, but certainly a line needs to be drawn in the sand.

SHARRI MARKSON: And of course, the US is saying that Israel should do the exact opposite and shouldn't retaliate at all – at least that's what Joe Biden is saying, Andrew Hastie, great to have you with us. Thank you very much for your insights.


Showing 1 reaction

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.
  • Andrew Hastie
    published this page in Latest News 2024-04-17 13:40:42 +0800