JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

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

The car lodged in the wall of the Lodge in Canberra after a collision on Saturday morning.

The car lodged in the wall of the Lodge in Canberra after a collision on Saturday morning. Photo: Jeffrey Chan

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.

The car outside the US Embassy, after it crashed into the gates.

The car outside the US Embassy, after it crashed into the gates. Photo: Graham Tidy

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.

Looking inside The Lodge - through the gaping hole left by the car.

Looking inside The Lodge - through the gaping hole left by the car. Photo: Donald McMiken

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 Lodge wall on Monday - patched up, but not too secure.

The Lodge wall on Monday - patched up, but not too secure. Photo: Donald McMiken

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.

15 comments

  • Security expert? Seriously based on what risks did they come up with this drivel?

    Commenter
    James
    Location
    Canberra
    Date and time
    March 24, 2014, 2:21PM
    • Exactly the lodge walls need to be strengthened, to keep Abbott in!

      Commenter
      cycloniq
      Date and time
      March 24, 2014, 3:48PM
      • +1

        Commenter
        Maddie
        Date and time
        March 25, 2014, 8:37AM
      • Seconded; my thoughts exactly!

        Commenter
        Robert
        Location
        Canberra
        Date and time
        March 26, 2014, 1:59AM
    • The more full of hatred a PM or President is the more security they need.

      Commenter
      brenda
      Date and time
      March 24, 2014, 5:52PM
      • The only current government with enough political gonads to build the new lodge on the lakeside land is the progressive ACT government. They should start up the lottery to fund the project immediately.

        Commenter
        leave me
        Location
        out of it
        Date and time
        March 24, 2014, 5:52PM
        • Why should my local govt pay to house the idiots the rest of the country vote in?

          Commenter
          Daniel
          Date and time
          March 24, 2014, 8:11PM
      • "security expert" - name names, or is he/she a top secret squirrel, or, just another plastic perhaps?

        Commenter
        Big Jack
        Location
        nearly there
        Date and time
        March 24, 2014, 7:23PM
        • Regardless of political affiliation, our PM must be kept safe. The PM is the elected leader of the country and has a right to perform their duties and live in safety. If we can't keep the PM safe what can we expect for the rest of us?

          Commenter
          arj
          Location
          ACT
          Date and time
          March 24, 2014, 7:53PM
          • Well you could expect the champagne corks to be popping at my house.

            Commenter
            daffy
            Date and time
            March 24, 2014, 10:50PM

        More comments

        Comments are now closed

        Related Coverage

        Featured advertisers

        Special offers

        Credit card, savings and loan rates by Mozo