Co-operation seen as key to transport security threats

By: Paul Howell

Rising freight tasks demands new considerations of terror risks.

Co-operation seen as key to transport security threats
Australia’s maritime sector is growing faster than security regulation, the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development says.


Australia’s security agencies will need to work closely with transport authorities and businesses to mitigate risks of terrorism, a new report by the Federal Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development has found.

As well as the well-known risks associated with air travel, the Transport Security Outlook to 2025 report highlights Australia's fast-growing freight task and its potential for new security risks.

The report provides the Office of Transport Security (OTS) a framework for prioritising and dealing with risk mitigation over the next 10 years.

It found Australia’s maritime sector was growing faster than security regulation and is set to grow even further over the coming decade.

"Containerised imports are forecast to rise by 50 per cent in the forecast period (2014-2024), with Melbourne and Sydney handling the majority of these imports," the report says.

Non-containerised imports are expected to increase by 27 per cent, while the bulk export trade of iron ore, coal and liquefied natural gas is also expected to experience "high growth".

Land transport is also expected to grow quickly, with road freight tipped to grow by 80 per cent and rail freight by 90 per cent.

That is pushing both businesses and authorities to invest in more and more-efficient transport infrastructure at ports and transfer points.

"In managing the growing freight demand, Commonwealth, State and Territory governments will look to intermodal terminals to better assist the movement of freight across Australia," the report states.

Unfortunately, the threat of terrorism is also an evolving one.

"The continued use and integration of new and evolving technologies across transport sectors is also a likely driver of change to the threat environment," the report states.

"Those seeking to attack transport systems may use technological developments to subvert screening technologies, such as the evolution of improvised explosive devices that are more difficult to detect.

"Terrorists are (also) likely to continue to seek to make use of persons positioned within an organisation (trusted insiders) to exploit their position."

The report urges the OTS to work closely with other government and industry bodies. Among its recommendations are that the office "will actively monitor and better understand growth and changes in the transport industry" and that it "will ensure its national footprint remains aligned to industry trends".

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