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Counter-Terrorist Exercise Begins Today

Joint News Release

Federal Attorney-General

Queensland Premier

The Hon. Daryl Williams AM QC MP
The Hon. Peter Beattie MP

13 June 2001

Brisbane residents should expect the unexpected today with increased police and military activity as part of a joint Commonwealth-State counter-terrorist exercise.

State and Federal police, the Australian Defence Force, and various other State and Federal Government and other agencies will take part in exercise Noble Act as part of security preparations for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) to be held in Brisbane from 6-9 October.

Federal Attorney-General Daryl Williams said the exercise would run until this Friday, 15 June.

"The exercise is one of several to rehearse plans and fine tune security measures to counter potential terrorist threats during the CHOGM," Mr Williams said.

Queensland Premier Peter Beattie said members of the public should not be alarmed at increased police activity across the city in the next few days.

"Police officers, including those from our specialist support units and some of which may be heavily armed, will be taking part in the exercise. This is a preparatory exercise only," Mr Beattie said.

"The exercise has been designed to cause minimal disruption to members of the public. However the numbers of police involved and associated activities may attract some attention. The exact nature of the exercise is being kept closely guarded, necessarily, in order to adequately test the processes in place should a major incident occur during CHOGM."

Federal national security agencies have been working closely with Queensland police and government agencies to ensure that security for the CHOGM will be effective and unobtrusive.

Mr Williams said Noble Act formed part of a series of counter-terrorist activities held regularly in each of the Australian states and territories.

"The exercise will focus on the principles of the national anti-terrorist plan, which has been developed and refined during the past 20 years and is based on a coordinated response by State and Federal agencies," Mr Williams said.

Mr Beattie said while CHOGM security planning was well in hand Noble Act would provide a timely opportunity to practise resources and measures for dealing with terrorism.

Noble Act will involve a wide range of Federal and State Ministers, Departments and agencies. Participants include the Prime Minister and other Ministers that are members of the National Security Committee of Cabinet, the Queensland Premier and Police Minister, the Queensland Premier's Department, CHOGM 2001 Taskforce, Queensland Police Service, Queensland Emergency Services, the Australian Defence Force and the Australian Federal Police.

Media contacts:
Catherine Fitzpatrick (Mr Williams) 0419 423 965
Steve Bishop (Mr Beattie) 0419 779 518
Tracey Brown (Queensland Police) 0419 701 089








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