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Priority : Transport security

Considering Australia's geography and location any threats to critical transport infrastructure will impact heavily upon the economy and the community.

Our focus in the past year has been to improve security measures by developing broad transport security policies and regulatory regimes, and implementing security measures appropriate to the new aviation and maritime security environment.

Aviation security

The priorities for effective management and oversight of Australia's aviation security environment, undertaken in consultation with other regulatory agencies and the aviation industry, are:

  • policy advice to government and consequent implementation of security measures appropriate to the new aviation security environment arising from the US and Bali terrorist attacks
  • establishment of fundamental regulatory standards on access control and passenger and baggage screening
  • implementation of additional cargo security measures.

As a part of the international aviation security environment, Australia closely consults and exchanges information with other countries, in particular New Zealand, United States and United Kingdom and through the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). Opportunities for greater cooperation on aviation security issues may also arise through the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Aviation Security Group.

Maritime security

Australia is highly dependent on international shipping and must keep pace with global developments in maritime security to ensure that the Australian community is not vulnerable to terrorist attack and so we can continue to export products by sea.

Under the International Maritime Organization's (IMO) International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS) Code, the department will implement new international security measures from 1 July 2004, which apply to international trading ships and the port facilities that serve them. These new preventative security measures will apply both to international trading ships and terminal facilities that serve them and to Australian flagged ships on interstate voyages and the terminal facilities that serve them.

In preparation, the department has developed guidance materials including security assessment processes and model security plans for ports, terminal facilities and ships based on AS/NZS 43:60 risk management standards and conducted workshops to assist them meet compliance requirements. The department has also conducted extensive consultations with Commonwealth and state/territory agencies with responsibility for border control and counter terrorism response.

In our region APEC leaders have also committed to compliance with the code as well as other security initiatives through the Secure Trade in the APEC Region initiative. Australia will play an active leadership and capacity-building role in the region. The department is also involved in the provision of advice and guidance materials to developing APEC countries to assist them meet the requirements of the ISPS Code.

National Transport Security Strategy

Under the auspices of the Transport Ministers' Council, the department and state and territory governments and industry representatives have started to develop a National Transport Security Strategy. The strategy will address existing and emerging transport security issues.

Critical transport infrastructure protection

The department has been actively involved within the framework of the National Counter Terrorism Plan in ensuring appropriate protection for transport critical infrastructure. This has required extensive liaison with Commonwealth agencies, senior police in all jurisdictions and industry.

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