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Wednesday, 23 November 2011
Page: 13602

Mr SIDEBOTTOM (Braddon) (13:50): It is with great sadness that I have learnt four young women from my local community on the north-west coast of Tasmania were passengers in the serious train fire in the eastern state of Jharkhand, India, which was reported worldwide yesterday. The Australian High Commission in New Delhi has already been in contact with three of the women involved.

Sadly, the Australian High Commission is seeking to confirm with local authorities the circumstances of the fourth Tasmanian travelling companion, who is reported as missing since the incident occurred. We hold very grave concerns for her welfare. Two officers from the Australian High Commission are already en route to the scene to provide consular assistance to the three young women and to ascertain more details regarding their missing friend. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is providing consular assistance to the families in Australia.

I have contacted each of the families to offer this government's concern and sympathy. They have already received contact and support from DFAT, the Australian High Commission and Minister Rudd's office. On behalf of this parliament and my community, I offer our deepest sympathy to these young women and their families. Our thoughts are with them at this very, very difficult time.