ACT News


Walls around The Lodge are "piss weak": security experts

The Attorney-General’s Department will review existing perimeter security controls at The Lodge as ‘‘a matter of priority’’.

It comes as security experts say the wall around The Lodge appears "piss weak" and bollards must be installed out the front or questions need to be asked about whether Tony Abbott is safe to be there.

An eight-metre section of The Lodge wall was demolished after a 65-year-old man crashed his Hyundai i30 - hardly the bulkiest of vehicles - into the prime ministerial property on Saturday.

A spokesman from the Attorney-General's Department said late Monday that security would be reviewed.

In comparison there was hardly a dent left last year when a similar sized car drove into the front gates at the imposing United States embassy.


The US mission in Yarralumla has more than one layer of fencing to protect its inhabitants and its buildings are set high on the property to slow down any approaching vehicles.

While police said there were no suspicious circumstances relating to the incident at The Lodge, experts agree it is not unreasonable to speculate what damage would have been done to the residence if the vehicle had been a car bomb.

One experienced security observer, who described the appearance of the wall as piss weak after seeing photos, said the wall looked like it had been built for aesthetic purposes rather than security needs.

The observer said the Australian Federal Police would also be reviewing its response times to check if it was on the scene quickly enough.

Another expert, Australian National University's Dr John Blaxland, said The Lodge was "simply not in a safe spot".

The senior fellow at the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre said an added layer of security was needed if the decision was not made to move the location of the Prime Minister's Canberra home.

This could include bollards, pillars or large rocks - deliberate obstructions already used at other federal buildings in the capital such as ASIO and at defence buildings in Russell.

There is also the possibility the inside of The Lodge's existing wall could also be strengthened.

The Department of Finance manages The Lodge which was built in the 1920s and these days reportedly comes with security cameras, shatter proof windows and a safe room.

The buildings on the property are undergoing significant refurbishments.


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