Queensland truckies will be spared from onerous anti-terrorism bill

By: Jason Whittaker


Queensland trucking operators will spared from proposed anti-terrorism legislation that aims to burden public transport operators with stringent regulatory requirements. A

Queensland trucking operators will spared from proposed anti-terrorism legislation that aims to burden public transport operators with stringent regulatory requirements.

A spokeswoman for Minister for Transport John Mickel has confirmed the Transport Security (Counter Terrorism) Bill 2008 will exclusively apply to train, bus and ferry operators as well as transport places such as train stations.

It was unclear if the Bill, tabled in Parliament this week, included the trucking industry after Mickel claimed "surface transport operators" would be bound by its requirements.

The Bill, if passed into law, will put the onus on public transport operators to install wide-ranging security measures if they are deemed to be at risk of a terrorist attack.

This includes developing risk assessment and risk management plans and provide them to Queensland Transport within three months.

The plans will need to be constantly reviewed and, if need be, adapted if there is a change to the National Counter-Terrorism alert level or if a business acquires a new service or merges with a another entity.

Part of complying will also include installing new security measures, which Mickel says may consist of constructing a fence, installing cameras, hiring guards, training staff to effectively respond to a security breach, installing electronic sensors or changing the way an operator does business.

The chief executive of Queensland Transport will be free to conduct audits to determine the effectiveness of security measures, as well as seek an order from the Supreme Court to force non-compliant companies to suspend operations.

Despite the stringent requirements, Mickel says the Bill strikes an effective balance between ensuring Queensland’s security and keeping the cost of doing business to a minimum.

By tabling the Bill, Mickel says Queensland is complying with an intergovernmental agreement on surface transport approved by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) in June 2005.

"Now Queensland will be the first state government to introduce a transport-specific counter-terrorism bill," Mickel says.

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