It was a close call for Elliott Costello, the son of World Vision Chief Advocate Tim Costello and nephew of former treasurer Peter Costello, who was on London Bridge on the evening terrorists attacked.
Speaking on the radio program Open House on Sunday, Tim Costello said his sons are currently living in London for work. Early on Sunday morning, when he heard news of the terror incident, they were the first thing on his mind.
“My youngest son with his wife has been teaching [in London] for two years, and my second son has gone there, he runs his own charity YGAP, Youth Generation Against Poverty,” he explained. “I got the Twitter news here in Perth when I woke up at 6:30 this morning. My first response was a parent’s response. We got onto our sons.”
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Costello said his son Elliott’s proximity to the attack was a sobering thought.
“Elliott is there for six months, and had been on London Bridge just a couple of hours before the terror attack,” he said. “He talked about the panic, and calm. The British are remarkable with that sense of we’ll ‘keep calm and carry on’. He was telling us about the police texts, ‘Run, hide, turn your mobile phones off’.”
“It’s very emotional, thinking of those [seven] fatalities, and the families, the loved ones grieving, and shock at how utterly arbitrary and unfair this is.”
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When asked what he thought of MP Pauline Hanson’s call to ban Muslim immigration in response to increasing terrorism, Costello called the comments ‘foolish’. He said the Muslims that his charity is supporting, are as much in need of refuge from terror as anyone else.-
“I think that’s inappropriate,” he said. “Look, I visit the world. I’ve come back from Iraq, from 21 camps outside Mosul, the ancient city of Nineveh, where World Vision’s rescuing people fleeing ISIS. Those are mainly Muslim people. There’s some Yazidis, some Christians but mainly Muslim.
“They hate ISIS. Muslims have suffered far more at the hands of Al Qaeda and Isis than even we in the west. And therefore to actually say all [refugees] are bad…that generalisation is foolish.”