Gap in Arena security

TERRORISTS could exploit a four-metre gap between bollards at Perth Arena and plough into crowds with a large vehicle, a state government inquiry has found.

The inquiry into protection of crowded places from terrorist acts, led by the justice standing committee, grilled Perth city council last week on it’s anti-terrorist measures, and flagged the arena bollards on Wellington Street.

“We have had discussions with the arena,” council CEO Martin Mileham says.

“They have access requirements and there is a risk profile.

“Obviously, if it was completely 100 per cent risk averse, we would be putting bollards up at every edge, and we have not.”

Other vulnerable public areas highlighted by the committee included Kings Park, Council House, CBD malls, Elizabeth Quay and Perth Arena.

Emergency

The council’s director of commercial and community services Rebecca Moore said that while the council may be responsible for the surrounding roads, the venues are managed by other entities, like the state government, metropolitan redevelopment authority or VenuesWest.

She said in the wake of Sydney’s Lindt Cafe siege in 2014, the city had worked with state services to overhaul its emergency management plans, and metal bollards had been installed to protect areas like Hay Street mall from “hostile vehicles”.

“We actually have a very robust piece and we worked through our arrangements with them,” she said.

“We are currently working on updating our Perth city evacuation plan so that if we need to, we have those in place.

“We are aware that we actually operate probably under a lower threat compared to most of the other large cities—Sydney, Melbourne and places like that.”

by EMILEE NEESON

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