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April 29, 2010
By Barry Rollings
A RANGE of measures to enhance base secu-
rity, including planning to deal with terrorist
attack and a greater focus on protecting per-
sonnel, will flow from the Review of Defence
Protective Security Arrangements completed
late last year.
Defence's Chief Security Officer, Mr Frank
Roberts, said that the review, completed in August
and submitted to the National Security Committee
of Cabinet that month, resulted in the Government
directing the Department of Defence to implement
the review's recommendations.
"We have a funded program of work to enhance
base security, which will take a number of years to
complete," Mr Roberts said.
"People will notice the difference at the larger
Defence bases. The challenge is to maintain a focus
on delivering this important work."
"We have begun implementing the recommen-
dations but the physical security aspects will take
some time to complete."
The review stemmed from incidents connected
to Holsworthy Army Barracks in Sydney's south.
"In August 2009, four people were arrested in
Melbourne for allegedly planning a terrorist attack
against a Defence establishment," Mr Roberts said.
"The police allege that Holsworthy was the
target. The arrests prompted the CDF ACM Angus
Houston and the then Acting Secretary, Mr Stephen
Merchant, to commission the review of Defence's
protective security arrangements."
Mr Roberts said the review encompassed all
Defence's establishments and resulted in 33 recom-
mendations ranging over five broad areas - secu-
rity policy, physical security, contracting, response
arrangements on bases in the event of attack; and
changes to the Defence Act to allow Defence to bet-
ter protect its bases.
"The review led to the Base Security
Improvement Program, which involves a range of
measures to enhance base security, predominantly at
the larger bases, over about five years. The Defence
Support Group is undertaking security risk assess-
ments at Defence's larger bases to assess security.
The Base Security Improvement Program aims to
address the more significant security risks."
"The DSG has completed 34 base security risk
assessments, including Holsworthy, and people
will soon start to see security enhancements on our
bases, starting with the larger ones. Our planning
needs to be intelligence-led and risk-based. This
means identifying those bases that may be attractive
as a terrorist target and ensuring that we address any
security risks there in the first instance."
"Additionally, we hope to submit changes to the
Defence Act to the Parliament later this year and
security staff on our bases are discussing response
plans with their local police commands for dealing
with a terrorist attack. "
Mr Roberts said that, broadly speaking, the
review found that Defence security policy was
appropriate to the task but in the past had focussed
largely on protecting Defence capability.
"Protection of people was certainly part of the
protective security mission, but what had changed
since the arrests in Melbourne is the notion that
Defence people may constitute a terrorist target
in their own right. SAFEBASE policy and protec-
tive security arrangements were fine as far as they
went but needed to be reviewed to make sure they
addressed the particular threat to our people."
"We also needed to look at our ability to deal
with a no-warning terrorist attack. We have to think
about how, in a risk- managed way, we can put
measures in place to deal with something that,
while unlikely, would have serious consequences
were it to occur. You can't guarantee against a no-
warning attack; all you can do is take sensible steps
to try to reduce the risk."
Mr Roberts said a whole-of-base alert system
was required to alert base residents of a serious
incident such as a terrorist attack to initiate base
emergency response plans, such as base lockdown
in the event of armed attack. "We have to have a
way of alerting the whole base, so that if armed
people are on the base, residents can activate pre-
arranged response drills and avoid danger."
"In response to a terrorist attack on a Defence
base, the starting premise is that civilian police have
responsibility for any armed response. But, depend-
ing on where the base is, it could take specialist
police some time to arrive."
"This means that we need to think through what
our procedures will be to deal with a situation until
police arrive in sufficient numbers and capability to
be able to resolve the situation."
"We need to ensure that we have the legal
authority for ADF members to defend themselves
in the event of terrorist attack, to carry out vehicle
and carried item inspections on entry to our bases
and, when necessary, personal searches. The CDF
has asked us to check, in particular, the legal impli-
cations of ADF members using force to defend
themselves and others were a base to come under
terrorist attack. He wants to be sure that if members
acted appropriately in genuine self-defence in these
circumstances then they would not find themselves
in trouble legally."
Penalties for trespass needed to be updated.
"Some are quite dated and not really a deterrent. We
are also working to give service police appropriate
powers to deal with trespassers until the civilian
police arrive on the scene."
"I think Defence personnel will consider
enhanced security as worthwhile, even if it entails
a little more inconvenience," Mr Roberts said.
"Defence people, by virtue of the job they do and
where they work, have a good security culture and
consciousness. As long as our security precautions
are appropriate to the threat and sensible I don't
think too many will criticise us for taking steps to
enhance our security, including through more effec-
tively controlling access to our bases."
For more information on the program, including updates
on security initiatives being undertaken and relevant
changes to policy, visit the BSIP website at http://intranet.
Arrests prompt security program
Recommendations cover security policy, physical
security, contracting and response to attacks
Tighter security and access control at base
entry and exit points.
Strengthened measures required at each
Stricter access control requirements,
including a positive identification process
underpinned by electronic access control
and biometrics at selected sites.
A possible broadening of Australian Federal
Police presence at Defence establishments.
Vehicle inspections depending on the
SAFEBASE level, including provision
of vehicle parking/inspection bays if
Inspection of carried items, depending on
the SAFEBASE level.
Base alert systems and base lockdown and
incident response plans.
Paluma cadets d'you hear there
IT DIDN'T take long for the offic-
ers and senior cadets of the ANC
unit TS Paluma to decide what to
do with $1000 the Sandgate Naval
Association presented to the ship
late last year.
Ever conscious of their safety and
training responsibilities, the officers
bought two electronic loud hailers.
"We know we have to get instruc-
tions to cadets loudly and clearly,
particularly when they are out on the
water," Commanding Officer of the
Brisbane-based training ship, LEUT
Colin Edgar, ANC, told Navy News.
Such was the case when sail train-
ing was undertaken during a camp at
Paluma earlier this year.
Cadet supervisor CPO Jack Stuart
used one of the devices to instruct
youngsters using Corsair training
The donation of $1000, described
as an early Christmas gift, came on
December 17 when the president of
the local Naval Association Mr John
Carlyon invited LEUT Edgar and
some of ship's company to join him
at the Sandgate RSL Club.
The donation represents an ongo-
ing alliance between the Naval
Association/Sandgate and the
Some of the proposed security arrangements personnel will see include:
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