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New Gladstone Customs House to provide round-the-clock surveillance.



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Senator Chris Ellison Mr Paul Neville MP

Minister for Justice and Customs

Federal Member for Hinkler

J O I N T M E D I A R E L E A S E

E149/03 22 October 2003

New Gladstone Customs House to provide round-the-clock surveillance

The Gladstone Customs House opened today by the Member for Hinkler, Mr Paul Neville MP, will provide state-of-the-art surveillance of local wharves and lend strong support to Customs officers working to ensure Australia’s borders are safe and secure, Senator Chris Ellison, Minister for Justice and Customs, said today.

Senator Ellison said the opening of the Customs House in Gladstone was part of an unprecedented investment in border protection in Queensland, including the opening of a new $5.5 million container x-ray facility in the Port of Brisbane, a $3 million upgrade to shared Customs and Quarantine areas at Cairns International Airport and a new Customs House in Mackay - all in the last four months.

“Increased Customs waterfront patrols and vessel boardings, along with programs such as the Customs Hotline designed to help the Queensland community join with Customs in protecting our borders, are providing a first-rate level of border protection both in Gladstone and along the entire Queensland

coast,” Senator Ellison said.

Mr Neville said that the Gladstone facility has been designed to provide the best support for Customs officers who are protecting Australia’s border against drugs, disease and other threats to Australia’s safety and security.

“A key feature of the new building is its connection to Customs 24-hour National Waterfront Closed-Circuit Television Network,” Mr Neville said.

“This means that activity at the wharves of South Trees, Boyne, Barney Point, Clinton Coal, Fisherman’s Landing, Auckland Point and Port Alma is being monitored by Customs around the clock.

“The building also includes a state-of-the-art security system, full Customs IT infrastructure and secure storage for detained goods,” Mr Neville said.

Customs is leasing the building for 10 years, with two, five-year options to extend.

Media inquiries: Minister Ellison’s office - Simon Troeth 02 6277 7260/(0439) 335 300 Mr Neville’s office - Kate Barwick (07) 4152 0744/(0408) 072 809