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Thursday, 17 October 2002
Page: 5407


Senator HILL (Minister for Defence) (3:18 PM) —I would like to add to an answer I gave earlier to Senator Evans in relation to travel advice. I would like to advise him and the Senate that Mr Downer has today announced a decision to further upgrade our travel advice for Indonesia. The decision was taken on the basis of disturbing new information of generic threats to Australians and Australian interests in Indonesia. As I said, we have been recommending since the Bali atrocity that Australians defer all non-essential travel to Indonesia. We now recommend that all Australians in Indonesia who are concerned about their security should consider departure. In particular, short-term visitors whose presence in Indonesia is non-essential should depart. We urge Australians to exercise extreme caution, particularly in commercial and public areas known to be frequented by foreigners, such as clubs, restaurants, bars, schools, places of worship, outdoor recreation events and tourist areas. The government also strongly advises Australians in Indonesia to monitor carefully developments that might affect their safety. As I indicated to Senator Evans, the government is also revising travel advice notices for a range of other South-East Asian countries to highlight the need for vigilance, given the ongoing risk of terrorist activity.