Air Charter CQ, aerial photography of Gladstone, 3 July 2010: coal terminal/LNG/Wickhams Point.
Air Charter CQ, aerial photography of Gladstone, 3 July 2010: coal terminal/LNG/Wickhams Point. CHRISSY HARRIS

Terrorists will eye city

THE Bligh government has listed Gladstone as a soft target for terrorists according to a study.

The Department of Infrastructure and Planning (DIP) lodged an environmental impact study listing Gladstone as a “hazard and risk”.

The report stated the proposal to construct LNG plants on Curtis Island would lure suicide bombers.

“A terrorist attack that blocked Gladstone harbour, destroyed or damaged other infrastructure ... would have a devastating impact on the Queensland and Australian economies,” the submission read.

“The installation of an LNG industry in Gladstone harbour would increase the vulnerability of the local population (and) industry to the consequences of international terrorism, and could act as a magnet to attract international terrorists.”

The DIP would not reveal who wrote the submission.

In a statement to The Observer, the DIP said: “All seaports, airports and critical infrastructure are assessed for security implications. To reduce the possibility of risk or hazard, these assessments are not publicly available.”

A spokesman said: “Unfortunately we're not in a position to say much beyond this for security reasons.”

The Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation (DEEDI) states on their web site: “Like many heavy and petrochemical industries across the globe, the LNG sector has procedures in place to deal with security threats, such as terrorist attacks.”

Maurice Brand, chief executive of LNG Ltd, proponents of Fisherman's Landing, said the LNG industry had a very high standard of safety that ensured as far as possible, all possible incidences were minimised.

“An LNG plant boundary is protected by security fencing, monitored by CCTV cameras 24/7,” Mr Brand said.

“Access to the plant is via a remote operated gate, with access only granted to personnel or vehicles once identity is established. Vehicles entering or moving within the plant are limited to authorised company vehicles, or legitimate delivery vehicles.”

Santos GLNG spokesman Ian Gray said the threat of terrorism was a global problem and the relevant state and federal authorities had personnel dedicated to the early detection and prevention of such activity.

“Terrorism and security assessments are done in consultation with state and federal agencies including State and Federal Police, Customs and ASIO,” Mr Grey said.

“As any proponent or industry has to do, we need to strictly adhere to the requirements that are laid down to develop and implement appropriate security plans.”



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