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Counter-terrorism exercise a success.

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17 October 2008

COUNTER-TERRORISM EXERCISE A SUCCESS Attorney-General Robert McClelland has thanked everyone involved in Mercury 08, following the successful completion of the largest counter-terrorism exercise undertaken in Australia.

“In this era of heightened terrorist threats, it is in Australia’s interests to ensure our counter-terrorism arrangements are working as well as they possibly can to safeguard the lives of all Australians,” Mr McClelland said.

“It is through exercises like Mercury 08 that we become better prepared and are able to identify areas that may need improvement.”

The exercise saw a range of scenarios play out on land and at sea, including a mock terrorism attack on the Brisbane CBD, a failed suicide bombing in the Pilbara, threats made to critical infrastructure sites in WA, and a hostile vessel takeover in Australian waters.

Mercury 08 also provided an opportunity for Border Protection Command, responsible for Australia’s offshore maritime security, to activate a new crisis command centre and for the recently revised national alert level system to be trialled for the first time.

“The exercise also tested interaction, and cooperative arrangements that have recently been developed, between the AFP, ASIO and the Commonwealth DPP.”

“I want to thank the participants for their efforts during the exercise. Their commitment and dedication has ensured Australia’s counter-terrorism arrangements were broadly and effectively tested. In doing so, they have helped make Australia more secure,” Mr McClelland said.

The Attorney-General’s Department will undertake a detailed assessment of the exercise over the coming weeks.

Media Contact: Adam Sims 02 6277 7300 or 0419 480 224

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