Townsville site for ALP anti- terror unit
A DEDICATED police specialist emergency response team ( SERT) would be established in Townsville as part of a re- elected Labor government’s statewide crackdown on terror.
Labor yesterday pledged it would fund an elite counter- terrorism unit with 85 new officers and specialists to defend Queensland against the ongoing terrorist threat.
About 535 new police officers would be recruited over the next four years, including 513 to go on the frontline and 22 world- class terrorism specialists and a dedicated assistant commissioner to support them.
A new SERT would be based in Townsville to ensure a rapid response to any threat across the North.
A spokeswoman for Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the threat of terrorism was constantly changing.
“Included in the counter- terrorism command is a dedicated SERT for Townsville,” the spokeswoman said.
“Only the Palaszczuk government has ensured Queensland agencies are in the best position to respond.
“There is no implication ( of a terrorist threat) for Townsville. It is about having capability all over Queensland, not just the southeast.”
Deputy Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington could not specify how many new officers Townsville would receive at a press conference yesterday, despite the LNP also promising to boost Queensland’s police force by 535 officers.
“Unlike Labor, the LNP will not dictate to the Police Commissioner where he should put his staff based on polling,” Ms Frecklington said.
“There will be more police on the street up here in Townsville.”
RESPONSE: SERT officers during a siege g in Cairns in January.