1. Set up shot, Australian Prime Minister John Howard
2. SOUNDBITE (English) John Howard, Australian Prime Minister
"It may sound a rather grim warning but that's the kind of world we live in, and nobody should underestimate how much the world changed on the 11th of September 200, and whilst the likelihood of that kind of attack is, sadly for the Americans, greater in their country than any other country, we have to brace ourselves to the possibility that it could be a terrorist attack in Australia. We will do everything we can to stop it occurring but I can't promise and guarantee that it won't occur. I can only promise and guarantee that we will do everything we humanly can to stop it happen."
3. Interior of parliament
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Alexander Downer, Australian Foreign Minister
"My department continues to recommend for the Australians to defer non-essential travel to Indonesia. The message to defer non-essential travel is a serious one, contained in fewer than 20 of my department's 139 countries specific advisories. In response to this new information that terrorists continue to plan attacks, Australians should avoid international hotels in Jakarta. This advice is based on new information which is led to an assessment that any international hotel in Jakarta could well be an attractive terrorist target. But I remind the house that terrorists may also target other, what we sometimes call soft targets, including shopping centres or identifiable western businesses. Mr. Speaker, I strongly recommend that Australians in Indonesia, particularly those in Jakarta, closely hear this advice."
Australian Prime Minister John Howard said on Wednesday he agreed with the nation's intelligence chief that another "catastrophic" terrorist attack against Western interests was just a matter of time, and that Australia was a possible target.
"It may sound a rather grim warning but that's the kind of world we live in," Howard told Sky News Television, "Nobody should underestimate how much the world changed on the 11th of September 2001."
Meanwhile, the Foreign Ministry reissued travel advice for Indonesia, warning that Australian intelligence agencies continue to receive reports that further terror attacks are being planned against 'soft' targets like hotels.
Australian Security Intelligence Organisation chief Dennis Richardson said, in a speech delivered privately last week, that he shares American fears of another terror strike like those on the World Trade Center and Pentagon that killed thousands.
"There is genuine concern that a catastrophic attack is a certainty and only a matter of time, a point on which I'm inclined to agree," Richardson said, adding Australia's alliance with the United States and support for the war on terrorism "does contribute to us being a target".
Howard said Richardson, whose comments were made public on Tuesday, was in the best position to make such an assessment.
Australia, a dogged supporter of the United States in the fight against terrorism, has sent troops to the recent conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.
More recently, Canberra has backed Washington's plan to set up a multinational interception force to stop international trade in weapons.
Earlier this week Howard announced a "renewed determination and willingness" to cooperate with Indonesia, which has been has been hit by two major bombings in less than a year, in fighting terrorism.
An attack last week on the JW Marriott Hotel in Jakarta killed 12 people and the Oct. 12 blasts on the resort island of Bali killed 202 people, including 88 Australians.
Both have been blamed on terror group Jemaah Islamiyah, believed to be linked to al-Qaida.