A sweeping reform of airport security measures including body scans for almost all passengers and random ID checks from anyone deemed suspicious for Australian security services was supported by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in a presentation in Melbourne airport today.
Mr Turnbull claimed the airports across Australia had no other choice but to adopt these measures given the “dangerous times” that we are living in and said his government would do all for the “safety of the Australian people.”
“You have to keep people safe. There was a couple of people that came very close to blowing up an A380, with the best part of 400 people the other day … so it is alleged.”
At the presentation of his government’s budget last week, some $300m was put aside to upgrade security at Australian airports, something the press eagerly asked about. Some of the measures include added body scanners, more police and, importantly, added responsibilities for security forces at airports, such as random ID checks of anyone they deem ‘suspicious’. Under the new regulation, any person coming to the airport without an ID can be asked to leave the premises immediately.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Police will have the right to ask members of the public for ID at airports under the Turnbull government's new $294 million anti-terror package. <a href="https://t.co/QPr7AToGTw">https://t.co/QPr7AToGTw</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/auspol?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#auspol</a></p>— Rachel Baxendale (@rachelbaxendale) <a href="https://twitter.com/rachelbaxendale/status/996218471229702144?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 15, 2018</a></blockquote>
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Asked whether this last part doesn’t translate into an intrusion of someone’s personal rights, Mr Turnbull stated: “You don’t have to, there is no law that requires you do, but it is hard to think of anyone who wouldn’t have some ID and wouldn’t be able to say a bit about themselves.”
“The police are being trained to observe behaviour, they pay very close attention to people who are looking anxious or creating a suspicious environment.”
Mr Turnbull also spoke about the bombings in Indonesia of the past few days, stating:
“In Indonesia they have 500, we think, around 500 people who have returned from the conflict zone.”
“Of course the man who used his family, killed his family, in these attacks had not come back from Syria but nonetheless it is a real challenge.
“About 40-some families have come back to Australia from Isis conflict zones. We keep a very close eye on these things, a lot of the Australians who went to fight in the conflict zone will never come back because they have been killed and a number of them will not come back obviously because they don’t want to end up going to jail.”