Media Release by Senator the Hon Kay Patterson

Support for Australians following the London Bombings

The Howard Government is saddened by the horrific events, which transpired in London on the morning of 7 July 2005.

The Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator Kay Patterson, today said the Howard Government will provide practical assistance and support for Australian victims and survivors of this terrifying act.

“We have a package of measures to assist Australians most directly affected by the London bombings.” Senator Patterson said.

“The Australian Government will assist with reasonable costs not covered by insurance associated with the serious injury of an Australian as a result of the London bombings. This will also include out of pocket medical costs (including counselling) on their return to Australia, and reasonable costs of counselling and psychological care for the close family of Australian survivors and for close relatives of deceased non-Australians.

“The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)’s continues to advise there are no reports of Australian fatalities.

“However we know of nine Australians who have been injured and are receiving treatment in hospital. Two are in a critical condition. Australian High Commission staff are assisting these Australians, and continuing to liaise closely with hospitals to ascertain if any other Australians have been involved.

“People concerned about Australian family and friends in London are strongly urged to try and make direct contact with them in the first instance. People, unable to make contact and who wish to check on friends and relatives in the areas of London most affected by the bombings can contact the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade consular hotline (1800 00 22 14).

“In addition, a second hotline has been set up to provide information on all other aspects of the Government’s assistance package. The hotline number is 180 22 77. This hotline is for those seeking information about their entitlements, seeking counselling, medical or other health information.

“Australians in the UK seeking information about the assistance package for those who are seriously injured should call 0061 892 02 99 44 and ask for reverse charges.

“The Australian Government continues to liaise closely with the British Government as the situation for Australians most directly affected by the London bombings becomes clearer,” said Senator Patterson.