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Victoria to host next counter-terrorism exercise.



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ATTORNEY-GENERAL THE HON PHILIP RUDDOCK MP

NEWS RELEASE

1 September 2004 162/2004

VICTORIA TO HOST NEXT COUNTER-TERRORISM EXERCISE

A two-week program of counter-terrorism exercises beginning in Melbourne today will practice the responses of emergency services and security agencies to a large-scale terrorist attack.

Attorney-General Philip Ruddock today said Exercise Heavy Metal was designed to evaluate crisis and consequence management capabilities in a contemporary terrorist threat scenario.

Heavy Metal’s exercise program involves a series of discussion exercises, deployment activities and an interactive display and presentation of agency capabilities.

“The exercise will focus on threat assessment, prevention and preparation, command and control arrangements, the emergency response to a mass casualty situation and investigation of a crime scene,” Mr Ruddock said.

Heavy Metal will involve participation from a number of Australian Government agencies including the Australian Federal Police, Australian Defence Force, Emergency Management Australia and the Department of Health and Ageing.

State Government agencies involved include Victoria Police, Victorian Fire Brigades, the Victorian Ambulance Service and the Victorian Department of Human Services.

“The exercise has been devised by a joint Australian and Victorian Government team and is the fifth scheduled for this year as part of the ongoing National Counter Terrorism Committee exercise program,” Mr Ruddock said.

Heavy Metal follows the week-long multi-jurisdictional exercise Mercury 04 in Victoria, South Australia, the Northern Territory and Tasmania in March, the Bold Endeavour tactical response exercise in Canberra in May, ICMEX Explorer in Sydney in June and TACREX Baseline in Perth in August.

“The government allocated an extra $15.7 million over four years in the 2003-04 Budget to increase the number and scope of these important counter-terrorism exercises.

“The program demonstrates the government’s continuing commitment to protecting Australia from the threat of terrorism by bringing together Australian Government and State and Territory agencies in exercises designed to strengthen and maintain effective working relationships,” Mr Ruddock said.

Media Contact: Steve Ingram 0419 278 715

Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600 • Telephone (02) 6277 7300 • Fax (02) 6273 4102 www.law.gov.au/ag