Australien — New Bill to enhance security at Defence bases

Min­is­ter for Defence Sen­a­tor John Faulkn­er today intro­duced a Bill to make Aus­tralian mil­i­tary bases more secure.

The Bill was devel­oped fol­low­ing a Defence review of its pro­tec­tive secu­ri­ty arrange­ments, after the August 2009 arrest of a num­ber of peo­ple alleged­ly plan­ning an attack against Holswor­thy Army Base.

“This Bill would strength­en the Depart­ment of Defence’s abil­i­ty to deter, detect and respond to inci­dents that threat­en the secu­ri­ty of Defence bases, facil­i­ties, assets and per­son­nel with­in Aus­tralia,” Sen­a­tor Faulkn­er said.

Sen­a­tor Faulkn­er said the Bill acknowl­edged the con­tem­po­rary secu­ri­ty envi­ron­ment in Aus­tralia, includ­ing the threat of ter­ror­ism. The Bill only has appli­ca­tion with­in Aus­tralia and will not affect ADF oper­a­tional activ­i­ties over­seas.

The Bill pro­vides explic­it author­i­ty for autho­rised Defence Force mem­bers to defend them­selves, or oth­ers, from death or seri­ous injury in the event of an attack on Defence premis­es. The com­mon law right of all indi­vid­u­als to defend them­selves will con­tin­ue to apply; as will the var­i­ous Com­mon­wealth, State and Ter­ri­to­ry leg­isla­tive pro­vi­sions that pro­vide a defence of self-defence.

The Bill will also pro­vide search and seizure pow­ers to reduce the risk of dan­ger­ous items enter­ing Defence premis­es — or weapons and clas­si­fied infor­ma­tion being unlaw­ful­ly removed — and will strength­en Defence’s abil­i­ty to detect and deal with tres­passers.

“Secu­ri­ty at Defence bases is con­stant­ly under review,” Sen­a­tor Faulkn­er said.

“It is appro­pri­ate that Defence con­tin­ues to enhance secu­ri­ty in response to the chang­ing nature of secu­ri­ty threats.”

“Civ­il police forces will still have the prime respon­si­bil­i­ty to respond to secu­ri­ty inci­dents at Defence premis­es. But the Bill will give autho­rised Defence Force mem­bers legal pro­tec­tion when defend­ing them­selves or oth­ers in the event of an attack on Defence premis­es,” Sen­a­tor Faulkn­er said.

Defence is also imple­ment­ing a range of oth­er pol­i­cy and phys­i­cal secu­ri­ty mea­sures as a result of the review.

Media con­tacts:
Col­in Camp­bell (John Faulkn­er): 02 6277 7800 or 0407 787 181
Defence Media Liai­son: 02 6127 1999 or 0408 498 664

Press release
Min­is­te­r­i­al Sup­port and Pub­lic Affairs,
Depart­ment of Defence,
Can­ber­ra, Aus­tralia