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Olympic Games Security

JOINT MEDIA RELEASE

The Hon. John Moore, MP
Minister for Defence

The Hon. Daryl Williams, AM QC MP
Attorney General

Thursday, 16 March 2000 MIN 051/00

Olympic Games Security

The Attorney-General, Daryl Williams, and the Minister for Defence, John Moore, today unveiled a major Federal Government commitment to security for the Sydney 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The Australian Defence Force (ADF) will provide about 4000 personnel - around the same size as the force initially deployed to East Timor - to support SOCOG and New South Wales authorities. This support will include security preparations for the Games.

Mr Moore said current estimates of the additional cost of Defence support to the Olympic Games was about $71 million.

"Support to the Olympics will be provided in two main areas, security tasks and general support," Mr Moore said. "The ADF will work closely with NSW Police to provide complementary support with specialised and highly trained personnel."

Defence personnel will be involved in:

Operational searches of venues and vehicles to detect suspicious items; Bomb searches using specialized equipment and dog teams to locate suspect devices; Bomb disposal to deal with and render safe suspicious devices; Clearance divers who can search under vessels and in waterways for suspect devices; Drivers for technical delegates and doping control officials from the IOC Medical Commission; Support to ceremonial activities, including ADF bands to record national anthems and provide entertainment; Managing venues in the areas of logistics, communications and transport. Mr Williams said that primary responsibility for the security of the Sydney 2000 Games rested with the NSW Police Commissioner.

The Commonwealth has broad security responsibility for gathering and disseminating security and criminal intelligence, border control, aviation security, counter-terrorism, dignitary protection and enforcement of Federal law.

"At present, there is no specific threat of terrorism against the Sydney 2000 Games," Mr Williams said. "However, the Commonwealth and NSW governments want to ensure that the security operation for the Games will be effective, friendly and unobtrusive, and that there are no disruptions to the Games."

Mr Williams and Mr Moore said Olympic security capabilities were developed to a state of operational readiness.

The Commonwealth has full confidence in NSW Police and we have been working together closely on security planning. We are confident that Australia will be able to ensure the safest Games possible.

For more information contact Catherine Fitzpatrick in Mr Williams' office on 02 6277 7300 or 0419 423965, and Chris Wordsworth in Mr Moore's office on 02 6277 7800 or 0419 982482.


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