Nov 5, 2010

Update: Australia’s Response to International Cargo Threat

Update: Australia’s Response to International Cargo Threat

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

Minister for Infrastructure & Transport

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

November 5 2010

The Australian Government has moved to refine the additional security measures put in place last Saturday in response to threats to the air cargo system arising from Yemen.

The Office of Transport Security has today issued a new special security direction (SSD) to the aviation industry prohibiting all air cargo originating from or passing through Yemen from coming to Australia.

The new measure is based on the latest intelligence picture and will minimise the impact of additional security measures on the movement of legitimate trade.

While there is no information to suggest any threat to the Australian aviation network, it is important we take necessary precautions.

We will continue to review the need for this direction as our understanding of the situation develops, based on intelligence information.

The Office of Transport Security is continuing to work with Commonwealth agencies, the aviation industry and our international partners to further understand and to respond to these significant events.

Underscoring the importance of international cooperation in responding to the threat of terrorism, I have in the past 48 hours met with key members of the British Government including Secretary of State for Transport, Rt Hon Philip Hammond, Minister of State for Security, Baroness Pauline Neville-Jones, and Acting Director of Transport Security (UK), Tim Figures.

Domestically, the Australian Government had been working to enhance the security arrangements which apply to air cargo.

In February the Government announced we would spend $54 million to tighten Australias air cargo security framework including the installation of x-ray screening and explosive trace detection technology at selected locations.