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Australia upgrades travel warning to Georgia -

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Australia upgrades travel warning to Georgia

The World Today - Tuesday, 12 August , 2008 12:22:00

Reporter: Samantha Hawley

ELEANOR HALL: And a short time ago, The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade upgraded
its travel advice for Georgia. A senior spokesman with the Department, Andrew Todd, has been
telling Canberra reporter, Samantha Hawley, about the change.

ANDREW TODD: Yesterday the department reissued the travel advice for Georgia and the overall level
has increased and we're now advising Australian's not to travel to Georgia where serious fighting
continues.

SAMANTHA HAWLEY: Okay, so do we know how many Australian's are actually in Georgia at the moment?

ANDREW TODD: At this stage we're aware of 15 Australian's known to be in Georgia and so far, all
but two of those Australian's have been contacted by our consular officials in Ankara and have been
offered consular assistance.

SAMANTHA HAWLEY: Assistance to leave the country? Or are most of those people remaining there?

ANDREW TODD: They can certainly to our advice is they should consider leaving as soon as possible
if they have a safe means of doing so and while borders remain open. But if they are unable to
leave or choose not to leave we are advising them to stay indoors in a safe location and monitor
local media for details about safety and security concerns.

SAMANTHA HAWLEY: Have any Australian's been injured during the fighting?

ANDREW TODD: We're not aware of any Australian's at all harmed by... in the conflict at the moment
and we are very keen to stay in contact with all Australia's registered with us and if there are
any family or friends who know of Australian's in Georgia at the moment we really do encourage them
to register with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade either online or on phone so we can
keep in contact with them all.

ELEANOR HALL: And that's Andrew Todd from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade speaking to
Samantha Hawley in Canberra.