Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - with John An­der­sen­der­

Con­ven­tional chain- wire fenc­ing that you can climb or cut in a few sec­onds is as handy as a car­pet layer’s lad­der.

GREE­NIES, Adani, Ab­bot Point, fish­ing clas­sic … it’s all hap­pen­ing down at Bowen this week­end. It was all quiet on the Bowen front yes­ter­day, but the wait is on to see if the ex­pected 100- plus anti- Adani mine pro­test­ers will take to the streets and if the more ex­treme mem­bers of the protest group will at­tempt to break through the perime­ter in or­der to get to the wharf area at Ab­bot Point. I harken back to more than a decade ago when the first Aus­tralian Sur­vivor was made at the Her­bert River Falls on Goshen Sta­tion up in the Kir­rama Range. It was a top- se­cret lo­ca­tion with two perime­ters of se­cu­rity. The sec­ond perime­ter I was warned had the “bad guys” who were pa­trolling on horse­back. Act­ing on a tip- off I went up and lo­cated the outer perime­ter. I asked the guard nicely if I could go in. He stopped me with the palm of his hand, spoke into a walkie- talkie. A voice came back over the ra­dio telling the guard to “tell him to com­bine sex with travel”. It was the first time I had heard that ex­pres­sion. I got a photo and not want­ing to run into the ban­di­dos on horse­back, I called it a day. I would imag­ine that there could be the same level of se­cu­rity down at Ab­bot Point right now.


I PHONED spe­cial­ist Syd­ney- based se­cu­rity con­sul­tancy Ma­tryx Con­sult­ing Pty Ltd yes­ter­day and spoke to Luke Percy- Dove. Luke told me his com­pany does a lot of this sort of work at ports and mines. OK, I said. What would you do if you had to keep pro­test­ers out of Ab­bot Point? Briefly, he said the first thing would be “Keep Out” signs, cam­eras and a perime­ter fence that was very dif­fi­cult to scale. Con­ven­tional chain- wire fenc­ing that you can climb or cut in a few sec­onds is as handy as a car­pet layer’s lad­der. “You have to make it as dif­fi­cult as you can to get in and out,” he said. Luke said there would be “method­olo­gies” in place to let port se­cu­rity know if the perime­ter had been breached. “We have three points of ref­er­ence. They are ‘ De­ter, De­tect and Re­spond’,” he said. “Once se­cu­rity de­tects that the perime­ter has been breached, it re­sponds, in­ter­cepts the in­fil­tra­tors and re­stricts them within the law. Once they are on your prop­erty you have duty of care.”


LUKE said there were sce­nar­ios when a sec­ond perime­ter could be set up. This would be pa­trolled. Set­ting it up would de­pend on the size of the in­vest­ment be­ing pro­tected. “It al­ways comes down to the risk of loss to the busi­ness. Is it just $ 20,000 or is it mil­lions of dol­lars? Ev­ery­thing you do is rel­a­tive to the risk of loss,” Luke said.


BE­ING a port, Ab­bot Point is ex­posed to the ocean. To the north and south are wild, un­pop­u­lated beaches where sea tur­tles lay their eggs. If any­one was go­ing to try to get into Ab­bot Point it would most likely be from the ocean. “The sea is dif­fi­cult,” Luke said. “There are CCTV sys­tems that al­low you to see in the pitch black, but the tech­nol­ogy is not there yet. They are not fool­proof. It is in­cred­i­bly dif­fi­cult to watch over water at night. You are pretty much go­ing to need peo­ple watch­ing ( the beach ar­eas).”


THE protest group Fron­tLineAc­tionOnCoal has an­nounced it is hav­ing a peace­ful protest at the north­ern end of Queens Beach to­mor­row. The or­gan­i­sa­tion has not an­nounced what other ac­tions it might be tak­ing. But, you would not ex­pect them to ad­ver­tise any ma­jor, dis­rup­tive protests.


AS of yes­ter­day, peo­ple tak­ing part in the Bowen Fam­ily Fish­ing Clas­sic would still be able to fish around wharf py­lons at Ab­bot Point. This will change if pro­test­ers at­tempt to in­fil­trate the wharf area dis­guised as fishos.

ON PA­TROL: A po­lice boat an­chored off Bowen's front beach yes­ter­day.

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