Malcolm Turnbull's Counter-Terrorism Plan Urges Installation of Barriers
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s plan to stop terrorist vehicle attacks in Australia says bollards and stairs should be installed to protect stadiums and shopping centres, and bollards and plant boxes used to protect pedestrians in shared traffic zones.
Turnbull unveiled the counter-terrorism strategy document on Sunday. It was commissioned by the prime minister in 2016 after the attack in Nice.
“It is part of our continuous program of optimizing, improving the way we can keep Australians safe,” he told reporters in Sydney, Australian Associated Press reported.
“We recognize that the threat is constantly evolving, so what we have to do is to make sure we too are constantly improving and updating the measures we have.”
The plan, called Australia’s Strategy for Protecting Crowded Places from Terrorism, was given to Australian businesses and councils last week, and outlines ways to prevent vehicle attacks similar to those seen in Barcelona, Nice, and London.
The plan provides a do-it-yourself toolkit on installing bollards and planters, and other methods of mitigating a hostile vehicle attack to businesses, councils and private operators. It also provides guidelines on chemical attacks and what should be done in such instances.
The Coalition says venue owners and operators will be given government and police help for security audits of their facilities to determine any weaknesses and develop strategies to strengthen and fortify them.
“The best mitigations are done at the design stage,” Turnbull said. “You can’t proof every site 100% – there are certainly things that can be done to existing sites – but the most important thing is as you get new developments, new plans that security measures are put in place at that time.”
The transport minister, Darren Chester, said there would also be greater use of police and agencies around mass gatherings.
“It is a constant battle for us,” he told ABC television on Sunday. “It is a tragic reflection of our times that we need to be taking these sorts of measures.”
The cabinet minister Arthur Sinodinos said it couldn’t be guaranteed there would be no attacks in Australia but measures could be taken to deter, detect and ameliorate any consequences.
“For a long time in Australia we’ve just had a mentality of live and let live and that we can walk around doing whatever we want,” he told ABC TV on Sunday. “Now we have to have more of that ‘be alert but not alarmed’ mentality.”
The counter-terrorism document has been prepared by the Australian-New Zealand Counter-Terrorism Committee and focuses on the collaboration between police, local councils, state governments and private operators to protect public spaces.
More than a dozen people were killed in the Spanish city of Barcelona on Thursday when terrorists used a van to run down pedestrians on the Las Ramblas thoroughfare.
The counter-terrorism report warns mass casualties are possible from chemical attacks and says: “Non-state actors have shown the willingness and the capacity to use chemical weapons.
“ISIL (also known as Daesh or ISIS) has conducted a number of chemical weapons attacks in Syria and has demonstrated intent, along with al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups, to acquire, make and use chemical weapons elsewhere, including in the west. This threat extends to Australia.”
If attacked, it advises people to do “whatever it takes” to find uncontaminated air, move upwind and wash skin with water.
Turnbull said Australians were “not immune from the global conflicts in the Middle East”.
“As we have seen from tragic events in Paris, London, Berlin and Barcelona, terrorists continue to target crowded places,” he said. “It is vital that all those responsible for crowded places know where to go for information and advice and how to better protect their sites.”