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Prime Minister of Australia

The Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP

Release of Australia’s Strategy for Protecting Crowded Places from Terrorism

20 August 2017

Prime Minister

Spending time together with family and friends in our sporting stadiums, at major events and around the civic spaces of our wonderful cities is a fundamental part of what makes Australia great.

Unfortunately we are not immune from the global conflicts in the Middle East and the instability around the world. My number one priority is to keep Australians safe.  

As we have seen from tragic events in Paris, London, Berlin and Barcelona, terrorists continue to target crowded places.

Our police and intelligence agencies recently disrupted a terrorist plot in Australia to bring down an aeroplane, further reinforcing the threat.

Last year, a review of lessons learned from terrorist incidents overseas, including the Nice truck attack, found that Australia already had robust arrangements in place to protect crowded places from terrorism.

But when it comes to security, there is no place for set and forget. We continue to reevaluate our arrangements and strengthen them based on changes to the threat environment.

Australia’s Strategy for Protecting Crowded Places from Terrorism has been developed in close partnership with the states and territories, local government, police and the private sector.

The Strategy will assist owners and operators to increase the safety, protection and resilience of crowded places across Australia.

This ‘how to guide’ will strengthen the existing cooperation between government and industry, providing clear guidance on where owners and operators can go for threat information and protective security guidance, and by providing an overview of effective protective security practices.

It includes practical guidance on protective security, information to help owners and operators better understand terrorist weapons and tactics, including ‘active armed offenders,’ improvised explosive devices, chemical weapons, and hostile vehicles.

It is vital that all those responsible for crowded places know where to go for information and advice on how to better protect their sites.   

We cannot be complacent about the threats we face but we will never let the terrorists undermine our way of life or compromise the freedoms we take for granted. Our Strategy will ensure Australians can continue to freely and safely go to the football, enjoy concerts and visit shopping centres.

At the same time, the Commonwealth Government has worked with the states and territories - through the Transport Security Committee - to develop a security awareness guide for truck operators and drivers.

The guide provides information on security measures that drivers and operators can undertake, indicators and warnings to help prevent a terrorist attack, and information on how to report suspicious or criminal behaviour to law enforcement.

The Strategy is now available to owners and operators of crowded places and members of the public on the National Security website – www.nationalsecurity.gov.au.