Parisians will rebuild in the aftermath of a destructive fire in the Notre-Dame Cathedral, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison believes.
Both the prime minister and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten have expressed their sadness over the devastating blaze, which has already destroyed the spire and the roof of the historic Paris landmark.
"I fondly remember standing outside Notre Dame with Jen almost 30 years ago. So sad to see this beautiful cathedral in flames this morning," Mr Morrison tweeted on Tuesday.
"Our thoughts are with the people of France and emergency services who are fighting this fire. They will rebuild as Parisians always do."
Mr Shorten said it was a sad day for Paris, France and people across the world.
"Notre Dame brought so much joy to so many souls," he wrote on Twitter.
Former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull has also expressed his sympathies, and called on both his successor and Mr Shorten to establish a fund to support the restoration of the church.
He said he has no doubt French President Emmanuel Macron will ensure the cathedral is restored.
Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo says firefighters are optimistic they can salvage the church's main towers from the flames.
Notre Dame is one of the world’s great treasures, and we’re thinking of the people of France in your time of grief. It’s in our nature to mourn when we see history lost – but it’s also in our nature to rebuild for tomorrow, as strong as we can. pic.twitter.com/SpMEvv1BzB— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) April 15, 2019
Australian Associated Press