Townsville site for ALP anti- ter­ror unit

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - DOMANII CAMERON

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.”

Pic­ture: STE­WART McLEAN

RE­SPONSE: SERT of­fi­cers dur­ing a siege g in Cairns in Jan­uary.

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