Bor­der force air­port ready

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - RACHEL RI­LEY rachel. ri­ley@ news. com. au

AUS­TRALIAN Bor­der Force of­fi­cers will be sworn in at an of­fi­cial cer­e­mony to­day ahead of the start of di­rect flights to Bali from Townsville’s new in­ter­na­tional air­port ter­mi­nal.

It comes as the Aus­tralian Fed­eral Po­lice con­firm they will not de­ploy more of­fi­cers to the city to re­spond to any se­cu­rity breaches at the air­port.

About 15 of­fi­cers will be sworn in at Cus­toms House by act­ing Queens­land Re­gional Com­man­der Rachel Houghton to­day, the first cer­e­mony of its kind in Townsville.

Of­fi­cers have been per­form­ing cus­toms and immigration func­tions in Townsville’s mar­itime and avi­a­tion do­mains for decades but a new cer­e­mony is re­quired af­ter the merger of the Aus­tralian Cus­toms and Bor­der Pro­tec­tion Ser­vice and the Depart­ment of Immigration.

Ms Houghton said there were about 1000 ABF of­fi­cers on duty at eight in­ter­na­tional air­ports. But she said that num­ber would in­crease as some of the Townsville- based of­fi­cers were tasked to meet in­com­ing and out­go­ing flights when the city’s in­ter­na­tional ter­mi­nal be­came op­er­a­tional.

“There will be a mix­ture of per­ma­nently sta­tioned of­fi­cers and ca­sual flex­i­ble em­ployee sta­tus of­fi­cers and … these will be sup­ple­mented on a needs ba­sis by fly- in fly- out of­fi­cers,” she said. “Ex­act num­bers of of­fi­cers is op­er­a­tionally sen­si­tive in­for­ma­tion and there­fore can­not be pro­vided.”

An AFP spokesman said no ad­di­tional Com­mon­wealth of­fi­cers would be de­ployed to Townsville to cope with the loom­ing in­flux of in­ter­na­tional pas­sen­gers.

“The AFP’s ( only) of­fi­cer in Townsville will work with the Queens­land Po­lice Ser­vice and Aus­tralian Bor­der Force to pro­vide a re­sponse ca­pac­ity to Townsville Air­port,” the spokesman said. “Ad­di­tional sup­port may be de­ployed from the AFP Cairns of­fice to sup­ple­ment and sup­port any re­sponse to a ma­jor se­cu­rity or crim­i­nal in­ci­dent oc­cur­ring at Townsville Air­port.”

Mean­while, Jet­star Aus­tralia and New Zealand CEO David Hall con­firmed tick­ets for the first flight from Townsville to Bali have al­most sold out and the air­line ex­pected de­mand to ramp up closer to the Septem­ber school hol­i­days.

“We know Bali holds strong ap­peal for fam­i­lies and groups of friends,” Mr Hall said.

Jet­star’s in­ter­na­tional flights from Townsville to Bali will start on Septem­ber 2.

The three- times weekly ser­vice will de­liver more than 50,000 seats be­tween Townsville and Bali each year.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.