SA to introduce anti-terrorism measures for transport

SA transport minister to be given the power to order transport operators to implement anti-terrorism plans

By Brad Gardner | February 18, 2011

Transport operators in South Australia might be ordered to implement anti-terrorism plans under a new Bill to be introduced by the Rann Government.

The Terrorism (Surface Transport Security) Bill currently being debated will allow the Government to impose conditions on transporters to reduce the risk of a terrorist attack.

The state's transport minister will be able to order any road, rail or water transport operator to assess its vulnerability, the likelihood of a terrorist act against it and to put in place measures to be taken if an attack occurs.

Companies will be compelled review and update their plans, run staff training exercises and hold information sessions.

"The threat from terrorism is global and ongoing, presenting a challenge to Australia and Australian interests wherever they may be," Environment and Conservation Minister Paul Caica says.

"We need to remain vigilant to the potential risk and ensure we have means at our disposal to deter terrorists."

If passed, the Bill will impose a fine of up to $50,000 for companies that fail to implement plans. Those who provide false or misleading information will be fined a maximum $10,000 or spend up to two years in jail.

The transport minister will be free to monitor operators and issue contravention notices if they believe anti-terrorism measures are not being complied with.

Transport companies with security measures in place with be able to incorporate the anti-terrorism requirements without duplicating existing procedures.

"This avoids the need to have two plans and ensures their security planning is fully integrated," Caica says.

The Bill is part of national reforms agreed to by the Australian Transport Council to strengthen security measures. Caica says there is a substantial risk of a terrorist attack against transport operators, particularly mass transit systems.

"Queensland and Victoria have enacted similar dedicated legislation while the remaining jurisdictions have modified their existing legislation," he says.

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