Australia Announces New National Security Plan

Australia Announces New National Security Plan

Australian prime minister announced a new national security strategy, urging venue operators of crowded places to begin keeping security at the top of their minds.

Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull announced a new national security strategy on Sunday, according to local news, urging venue operators of crowded places to begin keeping security at the top of their minds.

The new program – Australia's Strategy for Protecting Crowded Places from Terrorism – has been in the works since the terror attack in Nice, France, in July 2016, but Turnbull’s announcement follows a deadly attack in Barcelona last week in which a vehicle, once again, drove into a crowd of people.

"We recognize that the threat is constantly evolving,” the prime minister said, “so what we have to do is to make sure we too are constantly improving and updating the measures we have."

Under the plan, which both states and territories have been involved in developing, owners and operators of new buildings will be given government help for security audits of their facilities to determine any weaknesses and develop strategies to strengthen and fortify their venues.

Authorities will even provide a do-it-yourself toolkit on installing bollards to separate vehicles from pedestrians along with other methods of mitigating a hostile vehicle attack. The plan calls for an increase in use of bollards as well as in the use of police and security agencies around mass gatherings.

Australia’s new security strategy also features guidelines on chemical attacks and what should be done in those type of situations.

“For a long time in Australia we've just had a mentality of live and let live and that we can walk around doing whatever we want," Turnbull told ABC. "Now we have to have more of that 'be alert but not alarmed' mentality."

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