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.
DEGREE OF DIFFICULTY
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.”
CONSIDER THE RISK
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.
BAIT YOUR HOOKS
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.