ACT News

Canberra security under review after raising of terror alert

Katy Gallagher: Raising awareness.
Katy Gallagher: Raising awareness. Photo: Rohan Thomson

Canberrans could face increased security as a result of the federal government's decision to increase Australia's terrorism alert level, Chief Minister Katy Gallagher says. 

Officials are also reviewing security plans for Floriade, which opens this weekend.

Ms Gallagher, who joined a briefing of state and territory leaders by Prime Minister Tony Abbott, said security plans within the ACT government were being reviewed in the wake of the announcement. 

She said there could be increased security at Parliament House and Canberra Airport, but there was no cause for concern in the community. 

"It isn't in relation to any specific, known threat, but certainly on the information the security agencies have, the federal government believes the movement from medium to high [alert] is warranted," Ms Gallagher said. 

"They wanted to ensure that all first ministers were aware of that and also encourage inter-jurisdictional cooperation to continue, which has been under way for a couple of days.  


A security committee of ACT government directorate staff met on Friday morning and Ms Gallagher said officials would review security plans for major events, including the Floriade festival. 

She forecast increased cooperation between the AFP and government directorates, as well as with Canberra Airport. 

"All of the processes that we have under our emergency management have been activated and this is about meeting, communication and making any changes that need to be made," she said. 

"I don't want people to get concerned or think that there is something bad going to happen.

"There is no specific threat, nothing that would cause us any concern here in Canberra other than the fact that we need to be alert, prepared and if people have concerns they should call the security hotline." 

The comments came as state premiers and police chiefs spoke to media around the country, restating the message from Mr Abbott and ASIO chief David Irvine. 

Mr Irvine, set to retire from his role this week, said the public should not expect to see significant changes in the ways police operated.

Extra security has already been planned for major events in other cities, including the weekend's AFL finals matches. 

Mr Abbott said the raised security level meant a terrorist attack was now considered "likely" but he stressed it did not mean a terrorist attack was imminent.

Ms Gallagher said Canberrans should expect "business as usual".

"Our security advisers are probably a little bit more busy than they normally are to make sure that everything is being done that should be done, but for the community it's really about providing assurance and confidence in light of this change," she said.