SA passes anti-terrorism law for transport

South Australia passes legislation allowing government to order transport operators to implement anti-terrorism plans

By Brad Gardner | March 16, 2011

South Australian transport operators will now be bound by anti-terrorism requirements under new security measures introduced by the Rann Government.

The Terrorism (Surface Transport Security) Bill has passed the state’s parliament after the Opposition supported it.

The South Australian transport minister will now have the power 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.

"Targets of terrorism could include mass passenger transport systems because of the potential for a significant level of harm, which could include a large number of casualties, injuries and large economic and social impacts," Hammond MP Adrian Pederick says.

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

Transport operators that fail to implement plans face up to $50,000 in fines, while those who provide false or misleading information will be fined a maximum $10,000 or spend up to two years in jail.

Independent Bob Such says the legislation is necessary but that it must not act as a costly burden on operators.

"It needs to be sensible and not too draconian," he says.

The law empowers the transport minister to monitor operators and issue contravention notices if they believe anti-terrorism measures are not being complied with.

Transport Minister Patrick Conlon says the legislation is part of a 2005 intergovernmental agreement. Other states have already introduced anti-terrorism measures for transport.

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